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SMSC - Short Message Service Center

SMSC is short for Short Message Service (SMS) Center.

The SMS center is responsible for routing and regulating the SMS operations of a wireless network. When an SMS message is sent from a mobile phone it first reaches a SMSC that will then forward the SMS message to the destination. SMSCs also store SMS messages if a recipient is unavailable.  One problem with the SMS is that wireless network companies often use proprietary communication protocols making it impossible to connect between the two without the use of the SMS gateway. The SMS gateway acts as a relay between the two SMSCs and translates protocols.

How it Works

  • A message is sent from a cellular device
  • The message is received by a Short Message Service Center (SMSC)
  • SMSC sends a SMS Request to the home location register (HLR) to find the customer
  • The HLR receives the request and responds with a status of active or inactive
  • The SMSC directs the message to the correct mobile device (active) or holds the message for a period of time (inactive)
  • A customer uses the device and the SMSC will attempt delivery and transfers the message
  • The SMSC receives verification that the message was received then categorizes the message as sent

Recommended Reading: SMS Technical Overview

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