SMS is the acronym for Short Message Service.

What is Short Message Service?

SMS, or Short Message Service, is the foundational standard for sending text-based messages over mobile devices. Its design allows it to fit within existing signaling protocols, a feature that explains the character limit for each message. Specifically, an SMS is restricted to 160 7-bit characters, which equates to 1120 bits or 140 bytes. This limitation is rooted in the protocol’s structure, built to integrate with existing mobile network systems seamlessly.

When a message exceeds 160 characters, it can be broken down and sent in segments. These segments, up to a maximum of six, allow for a linked message that totals 918 characters. The messaging system automatically handles this segmentation, ensuring that longer messages are delivered in a coherent sequence to the recipient.

In sales and marketing, understanding the technical constraints and capabilities of SMS is crucial. It’s a powerful tool for direct customer communication, often used for promotions, reminders, or customer service. The 160-character limit encourages concise, impactful messaging, which is key in crafting effective marketing communications. Moreover, the ability to send linked messages allows for more detailed communication when necessary without losing the benefits of direct and immediate reach characteristic of SMS.

Additionally, the evolution of mobile messaging includes MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), which allows the sending of multimedia content like images, audio, and video. MMS expands the capabilities of traditional text messaging, offering more dynamic and engaging content options for marketing and communication strategies.

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