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Uses of SMS you may have forgotten

- 5 MIN READ - 27 Jan 2013

Before smartphones conquered the world of mobile phones, SMS was widely used for more than sending regular SMS text messages.

The trick was sending other data over SMS using UDH, that is invisible to user.

User Data Header (UDH) is a binary structure which may be present at the start of a short message in the Short Message Service in GSM. It does not contain any text, but it specifies how the message should be formatted and processed.

Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS)

EMS is an intermediate technology, between SMS and MMS, designed to work with existing networks.

An EMS enabled mobile phone can send and receive messages that have special text formatting (such as bold or italic), animations, pictures, icons, sound effects and special ring tones.

Do you remember all these black and white background images on your old Nokia? Yes, these were sent using plain old regular SMS with special UDH!

Also, when you sent a contact data to another number in vCard format, it was delivered using UDH and XML formatted data. Unfortunately this is also no more supported in some smartphones.

What is still being used

Although text formatting and ring tones data is ignored on smartphones, SMS User Data Header is still very widely used.

Multipart text messages

One good example is multipart SMS. When your text message exceeds 160 characters, the SMS is actually sent in multiple separate text messages with special UDH, so that your phone can merge separately sent SMS messages to one big text.

Take a look at SMS length calculator to see, how it actually works!

Voice Mailbox status

All these notifications about Voice Mail messages and Voice Mailbox statuses are sent using special SMS UDH header.

SIM toolkit

SIM toolkit is used for some special applications, that use binary SMS for various special cases, for example secure encrypted user identification.

Jaanus Rõõmus

Jaanus Rõõmus - CTO

Jaanus is co-founder and CTO of Messente and makes sure its wheels keep spinning and Messente always has a full tank of fuel.

Have you met 1oT? Mobile data connectivity for IoT companies.

24 Apr 2018

Last week, Lauri wrote a good piece about keeping things real, because businesses have simple business models at their core. As one of our values, simplicity has led Messente to build a reliable and powerful SMS API and user authentication API for businesses and brands to communicate with their customers globally.

While we pride ourselves in doing global A2P SMS and 2FA very well, one of our sister companies, 1oT, uses a similar methodology of simplicity to do global internet of things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity really well.

Yuriy Mikitchenko

Yuriy Mikitchenko

A note on keeping things real

17 Apr 2018

Over the years, I've had the good fortune of talking to and doing business with many entrepreneurs and CEOs from a variety of industries. Some are first-time founders of small startups, while others are amazingly experienced serial entrepreneurs. Many of them are extremely successful in what they do.

So naturally, while listening to them talk about their businesses, I've always tried to spot any fundamental takeaways –the small drops of universal business advice distilled from those hundreds of conversations.

And it seems to me that a lot of the most profound business truths seem to point to a direction that I would call, "keeping it real.”

Lauri Kinkar

Lauri Kinkar

Next-generation Omnichannel API is well underway

10 Apr 2018

Over the last few months we’ve been setting the direction of our Omnichannel messaging API and our development team has started working on it. Considering transparency, we wanted to share the progress we’ve made on the API and give our clients something to look forward to, as well as helping clients prepare their systems for the next generation of our A2P messaging API.

Uku Loskit

Uku Loskit

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