Acronym for the GSM Short Message Service, or a way to fit 140 data bytes (160 7-bit characters) into a USSD packet atop a mongrel version of the the SS7 protocol in a mobile network.

Many people (especially the ‘SMS should be free’ nuts) do not realize that since SMS uses signaling capacity, it can actually pre-empt calls on a standard GSM network (i.e., if there is too much SMS traffic in one location, calls will take longer to complete, decreasing revenue) and is generally a major capacity headache for operators1.


Date Link Notes
Mar 4 smsq A script for sending and receiving messages using an .
Older Gammu A newer, perhaps more flexible fork
gnokii A portable set of tools with some SMS functionality

1 In a way, it’s like having to ship bottles full of air – you have to do all of the logistics for relatively little benefit to whomever wants a drink.

This page is referenced in: