How Does Text Messaging Work

Have you ever considered, how does text messaging work? You might wonder, especially since more and more people are communicating by pressing buttons on their cell phones. Text messaging, known also as SMS or short message service, is sweeping the word of interpersonal communication because it is convenient, easy and fast. It's also known as wireless messaging, short mail or texting. You'll appreciate this innovation even more if you know how it works.

How Does Text Messaging Work?
Text messages are intentionally short-they can be no more than 160 characters and are usually less. The messages can be text only with no voice or video allowed. Text messages can be sent from one device, such as a cell phone, to another device, such as another cell phone or personal handheld device. The user simply types in a message using input keys (the number pad on a cell phone or the keyboard on a computer or handheld). When the message is finished, the user enters the recipient's cell phone number and elects to send the text.

Signals
How does text messaging work with cell phone towers? The towers are strategically located throughout the country and are in constant communication with cell phones in their area. When a user sends a text message via cell phone, a tower picks up the signal. Depending on where it is going, the message is transmitted and exchanged with other towers in the texting services network over and over instantaneously. Then, the system assigns a frequency to your phone and "delivers" the message, causing the recipient's cell phone to ring.

Problems
Just as with voice signals, texting services can have problems in relaying messages. If you are out of range of a cell tower, there is no way for the signal to be relayed. Usually this will result in a failure to send alert of some kind. Sometimes, if too many signals are being sent, it results in network congestion, and message delivery delays may result. Other factors that can interfere with a successful send or receive are low battery, running out of minutes or lack of text messaging capabilities on the part of the recipient.

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