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Advertisers and service providers use direct text marketing to send messages to mobile users about promotions, payment due dates, and other notifications instead of using postal mail, email, or voicemail.
The service is referred to by different colloquialisms depending on the region.
Finnish Radiolinja became the first network to offer a commercial person-to-person SMS text messaging service in 1994.
Text messages can also be used to interact with automated systems, for example, to order products or services from e-commerce websites, or to participate in online contests.
Under SS7, it is a "state" with a 160 character data, coded in the ITU-T "T.56" text format, that has a "sequence lead in" to determine different language codes, and may have special character codes that permit, for example, sending simple graphs as text.
This was part of ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and since GSM is based on this, made its way to the mobile phone.
Sprint Telecommunications Venture, a partnership of Sprint Corp. made the initial phone-call to launch the network, calling Mayor Kurt Schmoke in Baltimore.
and three large cable-TV companies, owned 49 percent of APC. One factor in the slow take-up of SMS was that operators were slow to set up charging systems, especially for prepaid subscribers, and to eliminate billing fraud, which was possible by changing SMSC settings on individual handsets to use the SMSCs of other operators.