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Companies have been using application-to-person messaging, known as  A2P SMS, for some time now. They use it to communicate with their customers, for authentication and access to platforms or apps, send alerts and carry out mobile Marketing campaigns, among many other uses.  

When looking for or reading about A2P SMS, you will come across different terms and abbreviations. It can be an overwhelming experience as they are, in most cases, very technical.  

We have created this glossary to help you with your research with ease, starting precisely with A2P SMS. 


A2P SMS:  

It describes an SMS message sent from a Software application usually from enterprises, institutional or governmental agencies to someone’s phone, meaning Application-to-Person SMS. It includes text messages like account changes in your bank or even reminders of appointments or deliveries from couriers. It is a simple and secure way for businesses to communicate sensitive information with their clients.   


It stands for Application Program Interface (API). API is used to build applications that need to interact with other software. They are usually developed by major software companies and then used by software developers to create products that operate within that system.   


Standing for Code Division Multiple Access, also known as IS-95. It is a modern technology that uses spread spectrum technology separating users by assigning them digital codes within the same broad spectrum. CDMA has a higher user capacity and is immune to interference by other signals, used in either 800 MHz or 1900 MHz frequency bands  


This is the design path of a completed circuit. It comprises all equipment and network components from one end of the circuit to the other.  


It stands for Global System for Mobile communications. It is used all over the world. Relying on narrowband TDMA technology, it uses a variation of time division multiple access, with each user having access to a one-time slot at regular intervals.  


Or Home Location Register, is a database that comprises information on users of a specific mobile network. It compiles data like their number, service entitlement, and number porting history.   


Multimedia Messaging or as we used to know it MMS. It allowed users to exchange video, voice, image, or any media type of message with a limitation of 300KB per message. MMS was replaced by OTT and Rich Messaging.   


A Mobile Network Operator is a company that provides mobile or telephony services. Mobile network operators work as independent communication service providers. They own the whole telecom infrastructure, that hosts and manages all mobile communications. 


Mobile Number portability is a service that allows any user to keep their number when changing telecom carrier.  


Mobile Originated Short Message Service. It describes all messages sent by a mobile device.   


MSISDN is a number that identifies a unique subscription in a Global System for Mobile communications or a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System mobile network. It links the telephone number to the subscriber identity module in a mobile or cellular phone.  


Mobile Terminated Short Message Service. MT messages are SMS text messages sent from an application or system to an end user’s mobile phone. It can include password changes, restart and/or promo codes, or any message sent by an application or system.   


Mobile Virtual Network Operator refers to companies that do not own a mobile spectrum license. These companies sell mobile services under their brand name using the network of a licensed mobile operator.   

P2P SMS:  

Person-to-Person messaging. It includes all messages exchanged by two different people. For example, when you send a text message from your phone to another person’s phone.   

P2A SMS:  

Person-to-Application messaging. It refers to the process of someone sending a message to an application. It requires the end-user to interact with a business or company by sending an SMS to an application.  


Rich Communication Services is a standard international protocol between operators and phone makers that allows improved SMS/MMS messaging on Android Phones. Inspired by instant messaging apps, it uses the native messaging app on all phones.   


User Data Header is a binary sequence that may be present at the start of a short message in SMS. It defines how a message is processed and ensures SMS quality and delivery.   


Unstructured Supplementary Service Data is a GSM service. The most common use is providing mobile financial services on most phones, at low cost and without requiring access to the user’s SIM card, like checking your balance.   


SMPP is an open message transfer protocol that allows users to interact with an SMSC (short message service center). It is an open, industry-standard protocol designed to provide a flexible data communications interface for exchanges of short message data.   


Short Message Service, more commonly referred to as text messaging. It includes messages exchanged between two users (P2P SMS) or between an application and a user (A2P SMS).  


Shot Message Service Center is a network feature in the mobile telephone network. It intends to store, forward, convert and deliver Short Message Service messages.  


Signaling System N.7 is a set of telephony protocols facilitating the transmission of voice, data, control/session management information, and SMS. While it dates to 1975, most of the world still relies on it to communicate.   


Two Factor Authentication provides an extra layer of protection to online accounts. It usually requests a security code or a fingerprint to grant access.  

These are some of the most relevant terms you will come across when dealing with A2P SMS. If you need any further information let us know, our team will be glad to help. 

Using Go4Mobility’s A2P SMS solutions you can impact customers at scale, benefiting from direct connections to Operators and local partners.  

Send us an email via wholesale@go4mobility.com should you need more information.  

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