Exploiting the Short Message Service as a Control Channel in Challenged Network Environments

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Executive Summary

The Short Message Service (SMS) is one of the most ubiquitous wireless technologies on Earth. Each year hundreds of billions of messages are sent, demand continues to grow, and competition between cellular providers is driving prices down. These trends create practical opportunities for SMS in today's mobile systems. This paper presents the design and implementation of a robust SMS-based data channel, or SMS-NIC, that runs on a variety of mobile platforms. Through integration with an existing mobile system, the paper shows that the SMS-NIC has little operational overhead and provides efficient, reliable transport for large messages sent over the cellular network.

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