SMS Glossary and Process

Overview

Multiple parties are involved in the process of sending and receiving an SMS. Refer to the glossary below for information on the various SMS-related entities.

Terms to Know

Term Description
Brand The entity or business that is communicating with the consumer. Some examples of brands are Starbucks, Amazon, Athleta, and Chipotle. The communication can either be transactional or marketing in nature. The consumers are aware of the brand alone and the other entities involved in the process of communication operate in the background.
ISV Independent Software Vendor. They are the link between the Brand and the CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) vendor. MoEngage is an example of an ISV.
CPaaS Communications Platform as a Service. CPaaS provides cloud-based delivery methods for SMS communications (APIs). They are the link between the ISVs and the Aggregators. Some examples of CPaaS are Twilio, Plivo and Sinch.
Aggregator The companies that have direct relationships with the carriers. They are the link between the CPaaS and the Carriers. Some of the examples of aggregators are OneMarket and Vibes. Some Aggregators, like Vibes, also act as CPaaS.
Carriers The companies that offer cellular plans to consumers and businesses. Some examples of carriers are AT&T, Verizon, and T-mobile.
Handset A mobile device that can receive SMS messages. “Consumer” and “Handset” are often used interchangeably when discussing SMS.

 

Sending SMS - MT (Mobile Terminated)

An SMS sent from the brand to the user is termed a Mobile Terminated (MT) message as it's a message that finally reaches the user's mobile. The picture below represents how the message travels from the brand to the end user's handset. Screenshot_2022-07-28_at_12.40.58_PM.pngReceiving SMS - MO (Mobile Originated)

An SMS sent from the user to the brand is termed a Mobile Originated (MO) message as it's a message that originates from the user's mobile. The picture below represents how the message travels from the user's handset to the brand.Screenshot_2022-07-28_at_12.49.10_PM.png

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