Glossary

16-bit Unicode or Unicode Transformation Format (UTF-16) is a method of encoding character data, capable of encoding 1,112,064 possible characters in Unicode.

Two-Factor Authentication, also known as 2FA, is an extra layer of security that requires the users to use their both their online password and their mobile phone to verify their identity in order to access a service or web app. In addition to using their service credentials to access sensitive data, the user also receives a one-time passcode or PIN number on his token or via SMS.

The advantage of using a mobile phone for 2FA is that users tend to carry their mobile devices with them at all times. That way, services can ensure that their users receive the verification PIN over something that only they have. The one-time PIN (OTP) number is generated and sent to the user’s mobile phone. The user receives the OTP and types it into the application to confirm their identity.

A system that incorporates both outbound (MT) and inbound (MO) SMS into one fully-featured service. By using a dedicated number, a 2-Way SMS user can send and receive SMS through a web messaging platform by using complete solutions or APIs.

2G is an acronym for second generation mobile telecommunications technology that was first launched in Finland in 1991. The main features of 2G mobile connection were digital encryption of conversations and messages, greater mobile phone penetration and the introduction of various data services for mobile phones, such as SMS messages.

3G is an acronym for third generation mobile telecommunications technology that was first introduced in 1998 and later commercially in 2002 that enabled wireless data transfer rate of at least 200 kbit/s enabling the easier usage of mobile internet access and video calls.

The process of sending mobile messages from an application to a mobile user. A2P SMS messaging is also called enterprise or professional SMS. Businesses can use it in several technical modes to communicate with consumers, authenticate users of online services, or deliver time-sensitive alerts. In all the cases, communication is initiated from a business application, and not an individual’s mobile phone, as is the case with P2P SMS.

Typical examples of A2P SMS include banking notifications, critical alerts, SMS-based two factor authentication, automatic booking confirmations, loyalty programs and marketing notifications etc. Online reservation systems, different corporate platforms and support services have deployed A2P SMS to increase efficiency and improve communication. Financial institutions have been using A2P SMS for over 15 years, by delivering automated, event-based SMS notifications to their clients’ mobile phones. Examples include anti-fraud alerts, balance statements, payment reminders, withdrawal notifications.

The most popular modes of using A2P messaging are SMS API integration, access via a web interface (by obtaining a username and password), or the deployment of a professional enterprise solution.

The alphanumeric sender ID technology allows the sender to send messages using a custom, recogniseable senders constructed from any combination of numeric and alpha characters (0-9, a-z, A-Z, _).

Therefore, an alphanumeric sender ID is much more recognisable by users so they can identify the sender more easily. This way, the sender ID can be used to present anything from a company name to a name of any government organisation. However, the receiver of the message can`t reply to a message sent with an alphanumeric sender ID.

Apache or Apache HTTP Server is the most used web server software on the internet. It is a free and open source software that is estimated to serve 50% of all active websites.

An app notification is a message or alert sent by an application to the user. Notifications sent this way do not require the application to be open and messages are displayed on the screen of the mobile even when the device is locked.

Binary SMS messages allow sending of various types of rich-content, such as transfering ringtones, telphone system settings and WAP-Push via text messaging.

Any binary SMS message has 140 bytes of data which can be used. This data is split into two distinct parts - the user data header (UDH) and the message data. UDH notifies mobile phones about the type of data in the message, defining the type of content being sent.

Business-as-a-Service (BaaS) is a new concept in A2P messaging managed services, allowing mobile operators to run their entire A2P business - with complete customer acquisition flow and support - without any investment or risk of ownership.

Businees-as-a-Service term is derived from the standard terminology used to describe different stages of development in cloud solutions.

Modular A2P messaging management and service delivery approach for mobile operators, delivered by the operator’s specialized technology partner. Includes a fully-managed instance of the core communications platform, maintained and upgraded according to the latest standards in security and continuous service delivery, operational services management, infrastructure development, resulting in an expanded operator service portfolio, faster time to market, cost reduction and reduced strain on operator business processes.

Through years of industry experience and investment in R&D, messaging technology specialists have blended in-house development and built on existing relationships with mobile operators around the world to satisfy the requirements of today’s businesses, providing high-quality messaging services with worldwide coverage. Business-as-a-Service (BaaS) expands on this model, as a more active role in managing operator’s A2P SMS through modular service and operations delivery, positively impacting time-to-market and helping to innovate operator portfolios.

With no guesswork involved for the operator – this approach gives operators access to a wealth of proprietary expertise, it also introduces the support infrastructure necessary to meet the A2P demands of enterprise customers. Along with this, the messaging partner powers sales and marketing efforts and provides expert-level business consultancy, allowing the Business-as-a-Service model to power every segment of operator’s A2P messaging.

Caller ID is a telecommunication service that enables users to identify incoming calls before answering. Caller ID is possible with mobile, analog, digital and VoIP calls.

A type of mobile payments where the purchase amount is charged to the mobile phone bill, or deducted from the prepaid balance. Typically, direct billing is used for micropayments for digital and virtual goods, but also public transport tickets or city parking. The mobile operator of the user wishing to make a DMB payment needs to support the technology in order for the payment to be made.

A concatenated short message service is used to overcome the limit on the number of characters that can be sent in a single SMS text message transmission (usually 160 chars). With this method, the sending device divides the long message into smaller ones that get recombined at the receiving end, with each smaller message billed separately.

With this feature, the complete message appears to the receiving user as a single long text message (a concatenated SMS message). On networks which do not support Concatenated SMS, each smaller message is delivered as individual SMS text message.

Delivery reporting is a feature of SMS MT that reports back if the SMS message has been delivered, for every message sent. It is sourced directly from the handset.

In essence, DLRs are URL call-backs for Delivery Reports. Instead of the gateway logging the activity, it will call-back the provided URL using a query string (at the end) with the parameters of the delivery report itself.

A predetermined numeric sender identification (the mobile number that is displayed on the recipient's cell phone) that cannot be modified according to user needs and follows the standard MSISDN format - The ITU Telecommunication Standardisation Sector recommendations limits the maximum length of an MSISDN to 15 digits. 1-3 digits are reserved for country code with prefixes not included.


The minimum length of the MSISDN is not specified by ITU Telecommunication Standardisation Sector but is instead specified in the national numbering plans by the telecommunications regulator in each country.

A message that appears on the recipient's mobile screen directly. Recipient does not need go to the mobile phone inbox to read the message, nor is the message allocated to the SMS inbox.

Flash SMS is a VAS feature to the standard SMS delivery and is most commonly used to immediately catch the recipients’ attention. Emergency alerts, traffic alerts are the most common usage examples.

Geo-redundancy signifies a computer system operating at two or more geographical locations as a redundancy in case the primary system fails due to any reason.

A Global Title (GT) is an address used in the SCCP protocol for routing signalling messages on various telecommunications networks. Theoretically, global titles are unique addresses which refer to only one destination, but in practice those destinations can change over a given time-frame.

GT title structure is defined by the ITU-T signalling connection control part formats and codes recommendation (Q.713), further extended in the supporting numbering plan standards. Other national variants of Signalling Connection Control Part (SCCP) define their own format for the Global Title. The value of a global title is a sequence of attributes which modify the address value.

A mobile telephony standard introduced in the early 1990s by European Telecommunications Standard Institute. First launched in Finland in 1991, GSM soon became universally adopted in Europe, and then worldwide. GSM currently accounts for 90% of the world’s mobile market, which makes it the default mobile standard. 

HAProxy or High Availability Proxy is a free and open source software which is most commonly used to improve the performance of a server environment by spreading requests to multiple servers and thus enhancing the speed and reliability of the server environment. The software can be run on Linux, Solaris and FreeBSD operating systems.

The database of all mobile numbers registered on the GSM network. Among other things, an HLR keeps a record of subscribers’ SIM cards identifiers and mobile numbers. It plays an important role in SMS sending.

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. Hypertext is the type of structured text that uses logical links (hyperlinks) between nodes containing the text. Basically, HTTP is the protocol of exchanging and transferring hypertext.

HTTP functions as a request-response protocol in the client-server computing model. The client submits an HTTP request message to the server. The server, which provides resources such as HTML files and other types of content and other functions for the client, returns a response message to the client. The response contains completion status information about the request and may also contain requested content in the message body.

In addition to HTTP, there is also the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) - a communications protocol for secure communication over a computer network, with especially wide deployment on the Internet. HTTPS is the result of layering the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) on top of the SSL/TLS protocol, adding security capabilities of SSL/TLS to standard HTTP communications.

An International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) is a unique number associated with all Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users used for identifying a GSM subscriber.

Each IMSI number has two parts. The initial part is comprised of six digits in the North American standard and five digits in the European standard. It identifies the subscriber's GSM network operator in a specific country. The second part is allocated by the network operator to uniquely identify the subscriber.

The IMSI is stored in the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) inside the phone and is sent by the phone to the appropriate mobile network.

An inbound message is a mobile message routed from an end user's mobile device and delivered to a mobile phone or an application. It may also be regarded as a Mobile Originated message or MO signifying that the starting point of a message is a mobile phone.

ISO 27001 is a family of standards that deals with information security management set by the International Organization for Standardization. They are designed to help organizations and companies manage the security of various information such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details or information entrusted by third parties.

Internationally-recognised certificates confirm our compliance with information security (ISO 27001) standards applied throughout our organisation.

ISO 9001 is a family of standards that deals with quality management set by the International Organization for Standardization. They provide guidance and tools for companies and organizations who want to ensure that their products and services consistently meet a certain level of quality.

Internationally-recognised certificates confirm our compliance with the global quality management (ISO 9001) standards applied throughout our organisation.

A word that clients choose in order to identify their campaign and inbound SMS messages. It is the first word that appears in the message before the blank space, and that end user is asked to include to the message they’re sending out to a company or institution. For example, a wine brand can offer customers to text WINE (keyword) to a shortcode to participate in sweepstakes.

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 or MNO, also known as a wireless service provider, wireless carrier, cellular company, or mobile network carrier, is a provider of wireless communications services that owns or controls all the elements necessary to deliver services to end-users, including radio spectrum allocation, wireless network infrastructure and other necessary components.

In short, a mobile network operator (MNO) is a telecoms entity that provides services for mobile phone subscribers.

A mobile message routed from an end user's mobile device and delivered to a mobile phone or an application. In the latter case, incoming messages can be seen over a specialised web interface, which usually offers additional reporting and analytics abilities.Incoming messages can be forwarded to SMPP, HTTP push or pull, or email. Also, they can trigger further actions - an automatic reply, opening of a support ticket etc.

Mobile data penetration represents the number of smartphones in a country. It is usually presented as a percentage of the population using smartphones.

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

A number uniquely identifying a subscription in a GSM or a UMTS mobile network. An MSISDN is the phone number associated with a single SIM card, in other words, the number you call or send an SMS message to.

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.

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.

Default sender type of an 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.

A one time PIN code is a code that is valid for only one login session or transaction using a mobile phone. It is oftenly used in two factor authentication or 2FA to provide an extra layer of security for the user when he uses an ATM machine or tries to login to a service from a different computer.

An outbound message is a message routed from a client or an application and delivered to the end user’s mobile phone. It may also be regarded as a Mobile Terminated message or MT, signifying that the endpoint of the message is a mobile phone.

P2A (person-to-application) SMS messaging is the process of sending messages from a mobile user to an application. It is often referred to as Mobile Originated (MO). The process requires the end-user to start the interaction with a business or company by sending an SMS to an application.

P2A messaging is commonly used for various TV voting campaigns, competitions, SMS lottery campaigns, subscriptions etc. With person-to-application SMS messaging, individuals can easily interact with brands, companies and service providers with text messaging providing a ubiquitous, quick and trusted route for client-business communications.

P2P SMS is process of sending mobile messages from one user to another, where an SMS message travels between two mobile subscribers. This is the usual traffic between subscribers of mobile operators. The main usage examples include basic text messaging, various chat services etc.

PCI DSS – PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard which is a security standard for companies and organisations that handle credit card information. It was created by the Payment Card Industry Standards Council to increase the security of cardholder data.

Infobip is compliant with the strict data security standards set by the payment card industry. We are trusted to process sensitive cardholder data with maximum security and reliability.

Retry refers to the process of the SMSC retrying to deliver an SMS message that failed to be delivered during a time period the message is valid, which is usually 48 hours. If a delivery of a message fails the SMSC starts a retry procedure that tries to deliver the message periodically.

Roaming is a term that refers to the ability of a mobile phone user to use his mobile phone for making or receiving voice calls, sending or receiving messages and data while travelling outside the coverage of his mobile service provider. The mobile phone uses the subscriber’s identity to access the network in the visited country.

A 3-6 digit number which enables sending and receiving of SMS messages, usually in SMS sweepstakes, polling, TV voting etc. With short codes, sending and receiving messages is limited to national borders. They can be leased from mobile network operators or through specialised messaging companies that also provide consultancy and tech support. Dedicated short codes are used by one company only, while shared ones can be used by more companies, which have their campaigns distinguished by keywords. For example, one company can use the number to receive SMS messages with the SUPPORT keyword, and the other company can use it to receive messages with the PIZZA keyword. These keywords allow the matching of inbound messages with appropriate campaigns.

A chip card that stores the IMSI, and serves to identify the mobile subscriber and provide mobile service. A SIM card also can serve as a memory storage device, e.g. to store contacts or SMS messages, network information or apps particular to the mobile user’s mobile operator.

SIP or Session Initiation Protocol is a relatively new communications protocol for multimedia communication sessions. The most common applications for this protocol are for voice, video and chat.

A service-level agreement (SLA) is an agreement between two or more parties, where one is the customer and the others are service providers and is a part of a service contract where a service is formally defined. SLA agreement defines the level of service quality, availability of service and the procedure of reporting and resolving problems that occur.

The term SLA is sometimes used to refer to the contracted delivery time (of the service or performance). Companies will include service level agreements within the terms of their contracts with customers to define the level(s) of service being sold in plain language terms.

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).

Mobile telecom company with multiple agreements with mobile 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; i.e. via SMS) and mobile operators.

Since, aggregators lack direct access into the SS7 protocol, SMS messages are delivered to the operator's SMSC, but not directly to the subscriber's handset. Instead, the SMSC takes care of further handling of the message through the SS7 network.

Distribution of mobile messages, including SMS and Premium SMS, directly to the end-users' mobile devices.

An SMS gateway is generally speaking a point of entry or exit for SMS messages. It is a network node equipped for interfacing with another network that uses the same or different protocols. The most common protocols used are SMPP, HTTP, UCP/EMI and SOAP.

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.

SMS transliteration is a process of message text conversion from one script to another. It is used, for example, to transform a text written in Greek or Cyrillic alphabet into the Latin alphabet. The transliteration process does not translate the message, it converts it into another alphabet and offers easiness of reaching an international base of users.

A short message service centre (SMSC) is an element of the mobile telecommunications networks which stores, forwards, converts and delivers SMS messages and maintains unique timestamps in text messages.

The main duty of an SMSC is to route SMS messages and regulate the process. If the recipient is unavailable (for example, when the mobile phone is switched off), the SMSC will store the SMS message and forward the message when the recipient is available or when the message's expiry period has been exceeded.

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.

Delivery of pre-recorded, or a text-converted voice messages to a landline and mobile phone numbers.Incoming voice calls/messages are transferred to VoIP and delivered to users over apps or SIP devices.

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

User Data Header (UDH) is a binary structure which may be present at the start of a short message in an SMS. It does not contain any text, but rather specifies how the message should be processed. Basically, it's a part of the SMS which tells the receiving handset what type of message being sent. This is done to ensure correct SMS message delivery.

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 a communication protocol available on every GSM-enabled mobile device. It is a session-based text communication without a store-and-forward mechanism (unlike SMS) that is practical for interactive communication, such as banking or education. USSD messages can have up to 182 alphanumeric characters and the time it takes from a request to a response is 2 seconds while it takes 6 seconds for an SMS to reach a mobile phone.

USSD centre is a collection of hardware and software required to interconnect two or more disparate networks, including performing protocol conversion and is based upon the ability of the delivery agent or the source to send and receive USSD messages. It routes USSD messages from the signaling network to a service application and back and is often reffered to as „USSD gateway“.

USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider's computers. USSD is session-based text communication protocol 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, establishing a real time session between mobile handset and application handling the service.

Voip or Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology that allows phone service over the Internet by transmitting voice over Internet Protocol networks.

VPN or Virtual Private Network is a private network that enables users to send and receive data securely across a public network while having the benefits of a private network. It used to grant users remote access to a network as if the user was physically present at the location of the network.

VPN tunnelling is a concept that refers to sending and receiving data over a VPN securely. VPN tunnelling protocols wrap data packets and encrypt them for safe sending through the tunnel and then decipher and unwrap the data packets in order to access the original data.

Allows WAP content to be pushed to the mobile handset with minimum user intervention. A WAP Push is 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.