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SMS Applications

Mobile Pronto has several SMS applications that enable your company to overcome the conventional levels of communication and productivity. Best of all is that you can enjoy them all in a single platform with no monthly costs.

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The history of SMS text messaging

SMS stands for "Short Message Service." It's a simple method of electronic communication that sends text messages between one or more mobile phones, PCs and other digital gadgets.

SMS was created in the late '80s by a Finnish engineer named Matti Makkonen, to support another digital technology called GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications). The idea arose in 1984 during a conversation with two colleagues at a pizzeria in Copenhagen. Makkonen aimed to develop a very simple messaging system that would work even when the receiving device was switched off or was out of its coverage area. No one could have predicted what would happen with SMS in the future. Makkonen did not keep the original design documents and did not even bother to patent the invention.

The first SMS message was sent in December 1992 from a personal computer to a cellular phone on the Vodafone GSM network in the UK. Usage has grown exponentially since then: Current volumes now exceed 2 trillion SMS messages per year — just in the United States! In 2008, The Economist magazine recognized Makkonen by honoring him with their Innovation Award for his invention.

SMS is a communications protocol that permits small pieces of information, called data packets or messages, to be delivered between devices. To avoid overloading systems that at the time of its invention had very little bandwidth and storage capacities, the creators of SMS agreed on a maximum size of 160 characters for each message. Later, mobile operators adopted the standard of a maximum of 140 characters for users, and 20 characters for internal control (message routing, packet header information).

When an SMS message is generated, the transmitting device connects to the intended recipient through the recipient's carrier (mobile phone network). An analogy is that the carrier's channel is the road where voice, data and images travel. Because the message travels through the cellular operator's system, the intended receiving device does not have to be powered on or available within the operator's coverage area at the time the message is sent; the recipient device can receive the message later, since the SMS is stored at the operation center (SMS Center) until the receiver or the phone are available. Once downloaded to the local device, the message is stored on the recipient's SIM card until he or she deletes it.

SMS can be used to send a message between just two people, or to distribute the same message to a large number of people at once by grouping recipients in a contact list, or by sending to all users of a specific area. This is called SMS broadcast, and it is used by companies to communicate with groups of employees, or to distribute news, emergency alerts from government agencies, SMS marketing campaigns from businesses, and other information to subscribers by request.

In early days as cell phone usage was expanding, the mobile operators didn't pay much attention to SMS, focusing more on voice services, WAP browsers (Wireless Application Protocol, for Web browsing on a mobile device) and handheld Internet applications. The carriers were astonished by the popularity of SMS. SMS really took off among younger users, as teens embraced texting and their adoption accelerated the growth of this technology. Teens initially used SMS messages because they were fast and inexpensive when compared to the per-minute price of voice calls. With their widespread usage, teenagers have created a unique language, with short words and clever abbreviations that enable quicker communication on the small keyboards of cell phones, and which make efficient use of the allowed 140 characters. The popular Twitter service also uses the SMS protocol and has the 140-character limit on "tweets" distributed over its network.

SMS has many advantages. Between two personal devices, it can be more discreet than other types of media, making it an ideal form of communication when you want conversations to be private. For the most part, it takes less time to send a text message than to make a phone call or send an e-mail. SMS is cheaper than any other communication vehicle. It can be sent and received at any time, and anywhere. SMS is simple to use and the technology is available in 100% of mobile phones manufactured today.

SMS has become indispensable. SMS helps people all over the world communicate due to its simplicity, low cost and widespread availability. Today, SMS is being used in large scale by all types of companies as part of their overall communications strategy.
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