I’m often amazed at how sudden the sms alert comes each time I make a withdrawal from the ATM, at times I get the text message notification before the machine spits out my cash. If you’re like me, then it may interest you to know that about 95% of all text messages are delivered within 10 seconds.

Short message service was invented in the early 80s as a communication means for engineers building the mobile network. It has gained worldwide acceptance since its integration into the into the GSM services, Portio Research 2008 reports that sms traffic is expected to grow across global markets at 9.5% to exceed 5 trillion messages annually.

Sms, which is the most used messaging media, will hit 3.2 billion users by 2013. Person-to-person remains the most common type of messaging, but what really takes place from the moment the message is written to the time it is received by the recipient?

GSM Network Elements

For the purpose of clarity, I’ll attempt to explain some elements of a GSM network involved in sms delivery.

1. Mobile Station (MS) – Stands for the subscriber how to find hidden text messages on phone    on the mobile network. MS1 stands for the sender while MS2 stands for the receiver of the text message.

2. Short MEssage Service Centre (SMSC) – Is a combination of software and hardware that handles receiving, processing, storing and forwarding of text messages. When there is a failure due to unavailable receiving station (MS2), the text message is stored in the SMSC until the destination device becomes available.

3. Home Location Register (HLR) – The HLR is a database used for permanent storage and management of subscriptions and service profiles. It provides the routing information to SMSC for the indicated subscriber. If the subscriber is not within his home network when a call or message is sent, the HLR informs the MSC and the search is made in the VLR.

4. Mobile Switching Center (MSC) – The MSC provides the switching functions of the mobile system and controls calls to and from other telephone and data systems. The MSC will deliver the short message to the specific mobile subscriber through the proper base station.

5. Visitor Location Register (VLR) – This is the database that contains temporary information about subscribers homed in one HLR who are roaming into another HLR. This information is needed by the MSC to service visiting subscribers.

Your mobile phone is constantly communicating with the mobile network over a pathway called a control channel. The reason is so that the cell phone tower should know which cell your phone is in, Because your phone changes cell every time you’re moving. Sms uses this signal paths needed to control telephone traffic to transport text messages during time periods when there’s no traffic.

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