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Short Message Service (SMS): The Creation of Personal Global Text Messaging

Friedhelm Hillebrand (Editor), Finn Trosby (Contributions by), Kevin Holley (Contributions by), Ian Harris (Contributions by)
ISBN: 978-0-470-68865-6
194 pages
March 2010
Short Message Service (SMS): The Creation of Personal Global Text Messaging (0470688653) cover image
Contributions from Finn Trosby, Kevin Holley, Ian Harris

Written to celebrate the 25th anniversary of SMS standardization by the people who produced the standards, Short Message Service (SMS): The Creation of Personal Text Messaging, describes the development of the SMS standard and its ongoing evolution. The standardization of SMS started in February 1985 as a part of the creation of the second generation digital cellular system GSM, and the 25th anniversary of the first work on SMS provides an opportunity to review and understand how this service was developed. The book also looks to the future, as a large number of new GSM and evolved GSM phones will support SMS as a mass market high availability messaging service, a new simple Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) suitable for use by everyone and for implementation in every new terminal is proposed.

  • One of the only books which covers the complete SMS genesis from concept ideas to standardization of a first technical solution and its evolution to the present day.
  • Describes the service concept including the limitation of the message length to 160 characters and explains the rationale behind the concept.
  • Based on existing and newly retrieved documentation.
  • Concludes that SMS has a long future since most future GSM phones will support SMS as the only messaging service, and so an SMS evolution is put forward.
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Introduction xiii

1 Communication Networks in the Early 1980s and the Portfolio of GSM Services 1
F. Hillebrand

1.1 Station-to-station Morse Telegraphy, the Origin of All Modern Technical Text Communication 1

1.2 Network-based Communication Services in the Early 1980s 1

1.3 Services Portfolio of GSM 7

1.4 GSM Mobile Telephony and SMS – the Most Successful Telecommunication Services 12

2 Who Invented SMS? 15
F. Hillebrand

2.1 Introduction 15

2.2 Clarification of the Terms ‘Invention’ and ‘Innovation’ 15

2.3 Was SMS Invented during the ISDN Work? 16

2.4 Was SMS Invented by Test Engineers, Students or in a Pizzeria Session? 17

2.5 A Clarifying Discussion within the GSM Community in Spring 2009 18

2.6 Timetables of SMS Genesis 19

3 The Creation of the SMS Concept from Mid-1984 to Early 1987 23
F. Hillebrand

3.1 The Birth of the SMS Concept in the French and German Network Operators 23

3.2 The Standardisation of the SMS Concept in the GSM Committee from February 1985 to April 1987 34

3.3 The Acceleration of the GSM Project, Including SMS in 1987 42

4 The Technical Design of SMS in DGMH from June 1987 to October 1990 45
F. Trosby

4.1 Background 45

4.2 Some Personal Sentiments at the Start 46

4.3 The Instructions that IDEG Were Given for Provision of SMS 47

4.4 Overall Description of the Work in the Period from 1987 to 1990 and Work Items Dealt with 48

4.5 The SMS of September 1990 55

4.6 Major Design Issues 64

4.7 Final Remarks on the Period of the First Three Years of DGMH 71

4.8 Work on SMS in GSM Bodies Outside GSM4 72

4.9 Other Tasks of DGMH 73

5 The Evolution of SMS Features and Specifications from October 1990 to the End of 1996 75
K. Holley

5.1 Topics Discussed in this Chapter 76

5.2 Technical Improvements to SMS 1990-1996 77

5.3 Concluding Remarks on the SMS Period 1990-1996 97

6 The Evolution of SMS Features and Specifications from the Beginning of 1997 to Mid-2009 99
I. Harris

6.1 SIM Toolkit Data Download and Secure Messaging 100

6.2 SMS Compression 100

6.3 Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS) 101

6.4 Voicemail Management 103

6.5 Routers 104

6.6 Language Tables 105

6.7 Other Important Standards Work for SMS 107

6.8 The End of an Era 108

6.9 Further Reading 109

7 Early Commercial Applications and Operational Aspects 111
I. Harris

7.1 Fixed-network Connection to the SMS-SC 112

7.2 Network Operator Interworking, Roaming and Number Portability 114

7.3 Third-party SMS-SCs 115

7.4 Intelligent Terminal Connections to Mobile Phones 116

7.5 SMS Keyboard Text Entry 117

7.6 SMS to Fax and SMS to Email 117

7.7 Two-way Real-time Messaging Applications 119

7.8 Performance 120

7.9 SMS Traffic Growth 121

7.10 Billing 122

7.11 The Content Provider Access (CPA) Model Deployed in Norway 123

7.12 SMS in 2009 123

8 Global Market Development 125
F. Hillebrand

8.1 The Creation of a Large Base of Mobiles and the Global SMS Infrastructure 125

8.2 First Use of SMS by Network Operators 126

8.3 How SMS Was Discovered by Young People and Became a Part of the Youth Culture and Widely Accepted 126

8.4 SMS Has Become the Leading Mobile Messaging Service and Will Stay in the Lead in the Foreseeable Future 127

9 Conclusions 131
F. Hillebrand

9.1 Factors that Were Critical for the Success of SMS 131

9.2 Proposals for a Further Evolution of SMS: SMS Phase 3 132

9.3 What Can be Learnt from SMS for Standardisation in Other Areas 133

Annex 1 Abbreviations Used in Several Parts of the Book 135

Annex 2 Sources for Quoted GSM Documents and Other Documents 139

Annex 3 Meetings of IDEG/WP4/GSM4 and DGMH in the Period from May 1987 to September 1990 143

Annex 4 DGMH Attendance in the Period from May 1987 to September 1990 145

Annex 5 Meetings of GSM4/SMG 4 and DGMH in the Period from October 1990 to the End of 1996 147

Annex 6 DGMH Attendance in the Period from October 1990 to the End of 1996 149

Annex 7 Evolution of GSM Specification 03.40 157

Annex 8 Literature 165

Annex 9 Brief Biographies of the Authors 167

Index 173

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