Some important terms and concepts you should know

MT – Mobile Terminate ie. the message arrives on your mobile.

MO – Mobile Originate ie. the message sent from your mobile.

Shortcode – this is the mobile number for your application eg. 92466. Now this is usually a big issue in setting up SMS services as it’s not as easy (no kidding) as setting up an internet domain. Imagine having to go to each operator in the country to sign contracts just to use that shortcode on their network! Hence, it’s possible that your app has different shortcodes for different operators or countries.

One more thing to note about shortcodes is also that they almost always do not roam. Hence, testing is an issue – you will need “boots on the ground” or someone in country to do the testing. We will cover in-country testing in another chapter.

MSISDN – Mobile Subscriber Integrated Services Digital Network Number or simply put – the mobile number.

Number series and number portability – Mobile numbers are usually arranged into series eg. 94560000 to 94569999. Traditionally, operators would have agreements with each other on which number series each owned. However, with number portability, this has started to change since a central authority would then host the MSISDN to operator mapping.

There are also clear distinction between Prepaid and Postpaid MSISDNs – there is usually no number portablity with prepaid.

Some standard SMS protocols include:

  1. UCP or Universal Computer Protocol
  2. SMPP or Short Message Peer-to-Peer
  3. CIMD or Computer Interface to Message Distribution

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Filed under Messaging, Mobile Messaging, Terms and Concepts

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