02 Jul How does SMS work (with Android devices)?
A system of messaging people that is considered to be feudal has been in the game for more than two decades now, and it still exists for obvious reasons. It was a feature that was once considered as the most convenient form of communicating with friends or acquaintances, which was later superseded by the internet and its wondrous creations. Although SMS has been around for a long time, not many people are aware of its working. As more people are demanding for the system’s fundamental theories that function on their Android devices, here is a short tour through the functioning of SMS.
What Is SMS?
SMS stands for Short Message Service, and the extension alone holds the kernel of the entire concept. It is one of the oldest forms of text messaging services that is being used even today. MMS is another version of messaging used in SMS to send multimedia content like audio, images, and visual files. Since both SMS and MMS are sent using cellular networks, they require a wireless carrier and a wireless plan for its functioning.
It is a universal service that is based on the three big network technologies, namely GSM, TDMA, and CDMA. Text messages of 160 characters in length are allowed by SMS for the English language, whereas messages of size limited to only 70 characters are allowed for other languages such as Arabic or Chinese. The SMS has information regarding the text message that makes up bits of binary code for each letter, and this set of data is known as the SMS standard.
Working of the SMS
Every text message you send passed through the control channel, which is a pathway that goes through a nearby cellular tower. The control channel is used to track your phone’s current cell, thereby allowing you to change cells as you are traveling from one point to another. Once the message passes through the pathway and completes the process, it travels to an SMS center. The tower closest to the recipient receives this message sent by the SMSC, and it then goes to the recipient’s phone.
Other data related to the SMS are also sent along with the text, and they include the format, length of the message, destination, and time stamp. SMSC works not just as a transmission center but also storage space. They store your message in case if it doesn’t get delivered in the first attempt, and if subsequent attempts also fail, you will be notified. Today, this technology might not seem like a revolutionary one, but it surely was at the time it was introduced.
The Home Location register comes into play when the SMSC requires the location of the recipient. Since the HLR is a database that stores the information about all subscribers, a connection generated with the SMSC can help in sharing all the data regarding the recipient’s exact location. The Base Station System is a device that contains transceivers to send and receive information over the air, and it is the final piece that helps in the transmission of the 160-characters message.