Cell phone text messaging (also known as SMS, Short Message Service)
Texting has become part of the culture, even a shorthand language has emerged. One can order a pizza or vote on American Idol with a text message. Obama announced his vice-presidential candidate with a text message to 10 million people, or at […]
Texting has become part of the culture, even a shorthand language has emerged. One can order a pizza or vote on American Idol with a text message. Obama announced his vice-presidential candidate with a text message to 10 million people, or at least that was his plan. An SMS message sent simultaneously to several million recipients, at the same time, is not yet possible, and that is probably a good thing, in light of the spamming that occurs with SMS.
According to Nielsen Mobile research, during the second quarter of 2008, the average US cell phone user sent or received 204 voice phone calls per month and sent or received 357 text messages per month. Teens in the United States, on average, send and receive an average of more than 1,700 text messages per month.
SMS was originally developed to allow deaf people to use cell phones and is similar to a pager (does anyone still use a pager?). In the United States, the term is colloquially called “texting,” but in some parts of the world, the term is “SMSing.” SMS is available on most mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), and is compatible with a wide range of networks (including 3G). However, not all text messaging systems use SMS. For example, BlackBerry uses standard mail protocols such as SMTP over TCP/IP (Internet Protocol).
If the destination cell phone is offline, the Short Message Service Center (SMSC) will store the message for a later attempt. The message can be stored for several days. Successful message delivery is not guaranteed and delay, or unfortunately even loss of a message, is not uncommon. This occurs most often when messages are sent between different networks. The sender of an SMS text message can receive a confirmation notifying them if the message was delivered successfully.
With some providers, it is possible to send messages to a subscriber’s phone via email. For example, an AT&T subscriber whose phone number is 234-456-7891 would receive emails at [email protected] as text messages. The SMS service now includes the ability to send emails, send faxes, and integrate with paging and/or Internet systems.
Unfortunately, spammers have discovered texting. Registering your phone with the “National Do Not Call Registry” only prevents phone calls, not text messages. In general, it’s a good idea not to reply to spam text messages. Often random numbers are tested for an answer. If you reply “Stop texting me!”, unfortunately, your number has just been confirmed as a cell phone and you will probably receive further messages
Obama’s vice president ad was just part of his text message campaign. His effort was an effective device for collecting millions of voter contacts. He also reported that Obama could connect with youth. Using SMS messages, the Obama campaign conducted polls, sent voter registration reminder messages, promoted other Democratic candidates in the recipient’s district, and reminded people to vote.
The shorthand arose because SMS messages are cumbersome to enter with cell phone keypads. Abbreviations like ‘CU L8er’ for ‘See you later’ are not only used by young people, but also by adults. There are books and websites dedicated to translating this shorthand, for “non-text language”.
Last year, more than 2.5 trillion SMS messages were sent from mobile phones around the world. SMS text messaging revenue is expected to exceed $165 billion by 2011.