How Does an SMS Work?

Short messaging service or SMS is one of the oldest and most commonly used methods of communicating with people. After all, it is simple to send an SMS communication, is not it? However, there is a lot of process and coordination involved in ensuring your SMS reaches the right destination. Operating on the fundamental voice controlled network, SMS continues to remain one of the most popular features on mobile. We are not asking you to get into the technical details of understanding how the SMS travels. No, that task is reserved for the engineers. But, you can still familiarize yourself with the basic process.

It's all coded!

Your SMS is not sent just as you type it. Once you have entered the message, the processor converts it into a binary code that the machines can easily understand. In simple terms, the words that you have typed become numbers. After this the message departs from the sender's phone and the journey begins.

Next stop: being accumulated at the central storage system

On leaving the sender's mobile, SMS's are accumulated at a central storage center called short message center or SMC. The SMC forwards this message to the desired destination identifying the location of the receiver.

All details go together

When you send an SMS, there are a lot of other details that travel with your message. These details include the name of the sender as well as the time of sending the message so that the person receiving the message on the other end is able to proceed accordingly.

What happens if the receiver is not available?

There are times when the receiver is in a no network area or does not have sufficient connectivity to receive your message. In such cases, the messages are not left to wander aimlessly. Instead, the messages are carefully stored in the network until the receiver becomes available. As soon as the network identifies the availability of your cell phone, it will immediately send the message to the mobile.

It's a dedicated channel

Unlike telephone calls and the data channel, SMS travels through a dedicated medium. Therefore, the chances of the message delivery being interrupted due to the receiver being on a telephone call. In simple terms, this means that even if you are on call with someone, the message sent to you will be delivered.

The best part about the entire process is that all of this is completed within a matter of few minutes to ensure that your SMS reaches its destination on time.

Source by Urvi Tandon