SMS (Short Messaging Service)

SMS (short message service) is a text messaging service component of most telephone, Internet, and mobile device systems. It uses standardized communication protocols to enable mobile devices to exchange short text messages. An intermediary service can facilitate a text-to-voice conversion to be sent to landlines.

SMS, as used on modern devices, originated from radio telegraphy in radio memo pagers that used standardized phone protocols. These were defined in 1985 as part of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) series of standards. The first test SMS message was sent in 1992 and it commercially rolled out to many cellular networks that decade. SMS became hugely popular worldwide as a way of text communication. By the end of 2010, SMS was the most widely used data application, with an estimated 3.5 billion active users, or about 80% of all mobile phone subscribers.

The protocols allowed users to send and receive messages of up to 160 characters (when entirely alpha-numeric) to and from GSM mobiles. Although most SMS messages are sent from one mobile phone to another, support for the service has expanded to include other mobile technologies, such as ANSI CDMA networks and Digital AMPS.

Mobile marketing, a type of direct marketing, uses SMS. According to a 2018 market research report the global SMS messaging business was estimated to be worth over US$100 billion, accounting for almost 50 percent of all the revenue generated by mobile messaging.