SMS Services

This section, after some introductory terms and concepts, introduces Premium SMS and the many opportunities it offers to service creators. I’ll also discuss the problems associated with Premium SMS and the importance of organizing Premium SMS services around fair and sound business practices that comply with the relevant laws and regulations.

Then I’ll move to connecting your computer systems to mobile networks so you can send or receive SMS messages, and cover the use of “aggregators,” which are companies that make this easier. I’ll try to provide enough background and general information to allow you to choose the proper type of connection or aggregator that you need to start up your SMS services.

MO and MT Messages

In order to advance our discussion of SMS services, we need some new terminology. When a user interacts with a service, it’s important to make a distinction between messages sent by the user to the service (usually called “MO” messages, for “Mobile Originated”), and messages sent in the opposite direction, by the service to the user (usually called “MT” messages, for “Mobile Terminated”).

For example, let’s consider a system where a cell phone user sends an SMS to a number and gets back an SMS with the latest news. If you use the service, the SMS message you send into the system (to request the news) is an “MO message” because it originated on your phone. The SMS reply from the system (containing the actual news) is an “MT message” because it terminated on ...

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