List of relevant terms used in the mobile business sector

A2P (Application-to-person) messaging

The process of sending mobile messages from an application to a mobile user.

Alphanumeric sender id

Combination of numeric and alpha characters (0-9, a-z, A-Z, _). It is changeable to fit users` need. Receiver of the message can`t reply on message with alphanumeric sender ID.

Binary messages

Binary messages are messages that require special encoding to overcome the character limit in single a SMS. Binary messages are used for characters in languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese or Slavic languages (e.g., Russian), for sending ringtones, photographs, or in WAP Push messaging.

Concatenated messages

Concatenated messages are messages that require special encoding to overcome the character limit in single a SMS. Long messages are split into smaller messages by the sending device and recombined at the receiving end. Each message is then billed separately.


A feature of SMS MT that enables delivery reporting for every sent message. It is sourced directly from the handset.

Fixed sender ID

Usually a predetermined numeric sender ID and cannot be modified to according to the user’s needs. It is in standard MSISDN format.

Flash SMS

The flash message service enables you to send a message that will appear on the recipient’s mobile screen. This means that your recipient does not need go to the mobile phone inbox to read the message.

Global Title

A Global Title (GT) is an address used in the SCCP protocol for routing signaling messages on telecommunications networks. In theory, a global title is a unique address which refers to only one destination, though in practice destinations can change over time.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a communications protocol for information transfer on the intranet and the World Wide Web.


An International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) is a unique number associated with all GSM and UMTS network mobile phone users. It is stored in the SIM card and is sent by the phone to the network.

Local Time stamp

A feature of SMS-MT that displays the timestamp of the home network local time. It is particularly useful for international mobile service providers and enterprises, which need to have the exact sending time adapted to the local time.


A mobile network operator (MNO) is a telephone company that provides services for mobile phone subscribers.

MO (mobile originated)

A mobile message routed from an end user’s mobile device and delivered to a mobile phone or an application.

Mobile Number Portability

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when switching from one mobile network operator to another.


MSISDN is a number uniquely identifying a subscription in a GSM or UMTS mobile network.

MT (mobile terminated)

A mobile message routed from a client or an application and delivered to the end user’s mobile phone.


A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a company that provides mobile phone service but does not have its own licensed frequency allocation of radio spectrum, nor does it necessarily have the entire infrastructure required to provide mobile telephone service.

Number Lookup

Number Lookup is also known as HLR (Home Location Register) Lookup or Network Query. It is a central database that contains details of each mobile phone subscriber that is authorized to use the GSM core network.

Numeric sender ID

Default sender type of SMS message in standard MSISDN form. Recipients can reply to messages with a numeric sender ID.


A feature of SMS-MT that sends over-the-air configuration messages, such as software updates, configuration settings and security locks.

P2A (Person-2-application) messaging

The process of sending mobile messages from a mobile user to an application. This definition is often used to define enterprise messaging.

P2P (person-to-person) messaging

The process of sending mobile messages from one mobile user to another. This is the usual traffic between subscribers of mobile operators.


Service Level Agreement (SLA) is the part of a service contract formally defining the level of service.


The short message peer-to-peer protocol (SMPP) is a telecommunications industry protocol for exchanging SMS messages between SMS peer entities such as short message service centers (SMSCs).

SMS aggregator

An SMS aggregator is a mobile telecom company with multiple agreements with operators to send and receive data in and out of the operator’s SMSC, acting as an intermediary between companies (i.e. content and brand owners) that want to interact with end users (through their mobile phones) and mobile operators.

SMS delivery

SMS delivery is the distribution of mobile messages, including SMS and Premium SMS, directly to end users’ mobile devices.

SMS hubbing

SMS hubbing is a new structure for international SMS traffic, reshaping international mobile inter-operability by implementing hubs to intermediate SMS traffic and offer a larger SMS coverage. The GSM Association (GSMA) found in SMS hubbing the solution to a problem that limits the continuing growth of international SMS, culminating with the development of SMS hubbing trials in 2006, part of the Open Connectivity project. This initiative created a new structure for international SMS interoperability, as well as developed standards and requirements that SMS hubs should follow. Regardless of the maturity of the operator or number of subscribers, each subscriber expects to be able to send an SMS to other subscribers, regardless of country and mobile network.


A short message service centre (SMSC) is an element of mobile telecommunications networks which delivers SMS messages.


Signaling System #7 (SS7) is a set of telephony signaling protocols which are used to set up most of the world’s public switched telephone calls, also used in mobile messaging, prepaid billing and other applications.

TON/NPI Settings

This SMS-MT feature allows senders to manage originator and destination settings.

2-WAY Messaging

Two-way messaging is the system that incorporates both outbound (MT) and inbound (MO) SMS into one featured service.

UDH (user data header)

UDH is a part of the SMS that provides instructions to the receiving handset about the type of message being sent. This is done to ensure correct delivery and message displayed.


Unicode is an industry standard allowing computers to consistently represent and manipulate text expressed in any of the world’s writing systems. As an SMS MT feature, it allows any content to be sent within a message.


USSD (or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is session-based text communication. It is available on every GSM-enabled mobile device. Because there is no store-and-forward mechanism present with USSD (unlike SMS), the protocol is more practical for interactive communication, such as banking or education.

Wap Push

WAP Push has been incorporated into the specification to allow WAP content to be pushed to the mobile handset with minimum user intervention. A WAP Push is basically a specially encoded message which includes a link to a WAP address. WAP Push is specified on top of WDP; as such, it can be delivered over any WDP-supported bearer, such as GPRS or SMS.


Direct mobile billing or direct carrier billing are synonyms describing a mobile payment process or a flow, initiated by a ”request” sent to a mobile network operator from the payment processing platform. In order to be enabled by a payment processing platform, direct mobile billing technology has to be supported by the mobile network operator.

In-app payments

A micropayment that can be made within a smartphone application.


A mobile network operator (MNO) is a telephone company that provides mobile services to subscribers.

Mobile payments

Money rendered for a product or service through a portable electronic device such as a mobile phone, smartphone or PDA. There are basically two types of mobile payments: mobile remote payments and mobile proximity payments (e.g. NFC).

Mobile proximity payments

Mobile proximity payments are made from a mobile phone at the point of sale using NFC (near field communications) technology. This type of mobile payments combines a mobile phone with a bank account or a credit card to make a purchase. In this case, a mobile phone is a “connection point” for a transaction done through consumer’s bank account/credit card.

Mobile remote payments

When a consumer is using a mobile phone to make a purchase and the cost of the purchase is added to the consumer’s phone bill. Commonly used terms are: carrier billing, direct operator billing, direct mobile billing, micropayments.


mWallet or mobile wallet, usually defines a type of consumer account with an MNO or another company. It is used in a similar way as a bank account. A person can make deposits and payments by just using their feature phone or a smartphone. Depending on a technology used, there are different types of mobile wallets.

Premium SMS billing

A mobile payment process or a flow, initiated by the consumer. The consumer is usually sending an SMS with a specific text to a specific number. In this payment flow, SMS is charged a premium price that is equal to the price of the purchased item