SMS is a first generation GSM service. As described in the previous section, SMS has some inherent limitations. The majority of these are to do with the fact that SMS is plain vanilla in nature. Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS) is a mechanism by which you can send a comparatively richer message that are combination of text, simple melodies, pictures and animations to an EMS compliant handset. The service is very much based on the existing SMS.WAP provides the user with services and protocols that can be used on top of SMS. With the increased use of WAP, the SMS traffic in networks should see considerable increase.GPRS, on the other hand, is a packet based data service that provides much higher throughput. Unlike SMS, it provides a real time data bearer. The users always stay connected to the network. But GPRS and SMS don’t really compete with each other in the real sense. The costs involved in sending small messages for an end user in case of SMS are expected to be lower than that in GPRS (packet data) service because the responsibility for sending the message to the recipient in case of SMS lies entirely on the short message center as opposed to the user in GPRS. In GPRS there is no concept of storage. Confirmation of delivery is a unique feature of SMS because of the very nature of short message service. Simultaneous transmission with GSM voice, data, and fax services is another distinguishing characteristic of SMS.There are many applications of SMS:
- Exchanging small messages like "See you at 8.30 tonight at xyz". SMS is particularly suited for these kinds of short messages because SMS is much cheaper than calling some one and giving the same message.
Calling someone to give the same message would invariably take more time and hence more cost.
- Many operators offer e-mail service over SMS. Every user is assigned an e-mail address at signup and any message delivered to that email is converted to short messages and delivered to the mobile.
- It is possible to send e-mail messages (less than 160 characters) from a mobile phone to any e-mail address via SMS.
- Information services like news, weather, entertainment and stock prices etc. can be availed just by sending a keyword like NEWS, WEATH etc to the short message center number.
- SMS can be used by the network operators to provide services like balance enquiry in case of prepaid cards using SMS.
- Mobile chatting is one more hot application of SMS
- SMS can be used to notify users that they have received new voice-mail or fax messages.
- It provides an alternative to alphanumeric paging services
- Using SIM-Toolkit, now a part of GSM specifications, SMS can be used to have on the air activation of features. By sending codes embedded in short messages from the server network operators can remotely provision the user's wireless terminal
- Internet e-mail alerts.
SMS provides a very convenient method of exchanging small bits of information between mobile users. The reasons for the enormous popularity of SMS have been the fact that this mechanism of sending and receiving messages not only saves time but costs less as well. In many situations one is relatively much more comfortable sending a message via SMS than talking over phone. With new information services and unique value added services being used by the operators the popularity of SMS is increasing further. SMS is also uniquely positioned as a very attractive advertisement medium. SMS should no longer be treated as a value added service in mobile networks. SMS is not only providing a useful mechanism for a host of innovative services over mobile networks but it acting as a point of entry for new data services like WAP in mobile networks.A Long SMS appears as one large message on the recipient’s mobile phone and is not split over several messages.