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2. What Makes SMS Messaging So Successful Worldwide?


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SMS is a success all over the world. The number of SMS messages exchanged every day is enormous. SMS messaging is now one of the most important revenue sources of wireless carriers. What is so special about SMS that makes it so popular worldwide? Some of the reasons are discussed below.


2.1. SMS Messages can be Sent and Read at Any Time

Nowadays, almost every person has a mobile phone and carries it most of the time. With a mobile phone, you can send and read SMS messages at any time, no matter you are in your office, on a bus or at home.


2.2. SMS Messages can be Sent to an Offline Mobile Phone

Unlike a phone call, you can send an SMS message to your friend even when he/she has not switched on the mobile phone or when he/she is in a place where the wireless signal is temporarily unavailable. The SMS system of the mobile network operator will store the SMS message and later send it to your friend when his/her mobile phone is online.


2.3. SMS Messaging is Less Disturbing While You can Still Stay in Touch

Unlike a phone call, you do not need to read or reply an SMS message immediately. Besides, writing and reading SMS messages do not make any noise. While you have to run out of a theater or library to answer a phone call, you do not need to do so if SMS messaging is used.


2.4. SMS Messages are Supported by 100% GSM Mobile Phones and They can be Exchanged between Different Wireless Carriers

SMS messaging is a very mature technology. All GSM mobile phones support it. Not only that you can exchange SMS messages with mobile users of the same wireless carrier, but you can also exchange SMS messages with mobile users of many other wireless carriers worldwide.


2.5. SMS is a Suitable Technology for Wireless Applications to Build on

Here are some of the reasons that make SMS a suitable technology for wireless applications to build on:

  • Firstly, SMS messaging is supported by 100% GSM mobile phones. Building wireless applications on top of the SMS technology can maximize the potential user base.

  • Secondly, SMS messages are capable of carrying binary data besides text. They can be used to transfer ringtones, pictures, operator logos, wallpapers, animations, VCards, VCals (calendar entries), etc.

  • Thirdly, SMS supports reverse billing, which enables payment to be made conveniently. For example, suppose you want to develop a commercial ringtone download application that charges a fee from the user for each ringtone downloaded. One way to accept payment is to use a reverse billing phone number obtained from a wireless carrier. To buy a ringtone, the user will write an ordinary SMS text message that contains the ID of the ringtone he/she wants to buy and send it to your SMS application's reverse billing phone number. Your SMS application will then send back one or more reverse billing SMS messages that carry the ringtone. The user will be charged a fee for the reverse billing SMS messages he/she received. The fee will be included in the user's monthly mobile phone bill or be deducted from his/her prepaid card credits. Depending on the agreement between you and the wireless carrier, all or part of the money received will be given to you.

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