About SMS or Short Message Service

What is SMS or what does SMS mean? SMS stands for Short Message Service.

SMS technology lets people send text messages and receive them usually by using their mobile phones (or cellphones). SMS is not normally free, but you can find free sms services and bulk sms. People refer to SMS as text messaging too, and these days you can even send images and photos – called MMS.

And, of course with smartphones, there are so many messaging apps you can download to send messages to friends and family alike.


SMS Technical Definition

In Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and some parts of North America) the GSM digital mobile phone standard defines SMS as the following:

  • Messages can be 160 text characters or less in length. (Many modern mobile phones allow you to send longer texts by splitting your text message into 160-character sections!)

  • Messages can be made up of words and numbers or mixture of both – binary format is also supported.

  • SMS is a store and forward service. This means that SMS are not sent directly to the recipient but go through a messaging centre.

  • The delivery or failure of a text message can be confirmed.


  1. Read a more detailed summary of free text messaging at this text messages page.

  2. CDMA networks allow greater message size (CDMA networks operate in North & South America, Asia (China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, etc, etc).) You can find out more at

What is Free SMS?

How is it possible to send SMS for free? The quick answer is that you simply use a free sms service that lets you send free texts and that service pays the price on your behalf.

But why bother when you can send sms using your cellphone?

Sending SMS is so easy and it's a rapid way to communicate with your family and friends. However, unlike email which is free to send, sms usually incurs a charge. In the UK texts can cost £0.12 per SMS, and the cost is more if you send to phones abroad.

Also, you can type your messages rather than fumble with your thumbs on a phone keypad because most free sms services are web based, so you send the message from your computer rather than your mobile (in most cases).

So sending free sms online has several advantages and all you have to do is find out how to send free sms online.


Is Free SMS Really Safe?

In my experience, yes – I have not been billed for any messages.

However, I do know of people who have been charged and I have received complaints about some free services. This is why I have included comments from Adrian Harris of Grumbletext below. I asked for his opinion on Free SMS.

Free SMS – Is it really free and safe?

You rarely get something for nothing, and free sms is no different. This is what Adrian Harris (site no longer operational, alas!) says about free sms services:

"My opinion is that these services (in general, not specifically the ones you link to) do cause problems. What is certain is that since it costs them money to send these 'free' messages, they have to earn that cost back and make a profit to boot.

"Pop ups as you know come in all shapes and forms and these days most of them are loaded with ad- / spy- / mal- / hijack-ware. The other thing a lot of them do is harvest your mobile number (which is always used as part of the account verification process) and operate or cause to be operated quasi-legal/illegal premium rate 'services' on them, pushing reverse billed texts on people at £1.50 a go for, say, weekly ringtones which people weren't aware they subscribed for (sometimes its hidden in the small print, sometimes it isn't)."

I have never had a problem with any free sms service listed on my site, and where possible free sms services are tested before being listed – but that's not always possible if the services only operates in one country.

So please do take care with the services listed on, and with SMS competitions, etc. that you may enter offline. can accept no liability etc. but will try and help resolve any problem that you may encounter.

My advice is to look carefully at the terms and conditions of the service you are about to register with.

And I recommend that you visit Adrian's GrumbleText! (Or I could - the site is now no more, alas!)

Free text messaging sites offer a free service because they try to make money from advertising on their website, or by including text adverts within the free sms that users send. For this reason they need to have a good relationship with their registered users and this in turn makes it safe for users to use their services.

Again, lets you know if anyone is having a problem with a free sms site.


SMS Marketing

Why should my business use SMS Marketing?

This is simply a way of businesses getting in touch with customers using their cellphone. (It is not receiving unwanted text messages, sms spam, that cost people lots of money!)

From a customer's point of view, it can mean finding out information about your favourite band or football team before anyone else, and from a business perspective sms marketing is currently one of the most responsive marketing channels around.

Why not read this page on bulk sms marketing to learn more.


More SMS

Well, you can learn more about sms via these pages: sms abbreviations, sms poems and sms jokes.

And if you want to know if it's really possible to send text messages for free then I suggest you read this text messages page (but the answer is yes! ;-) )

And if you want to know what to say to your friends – really!? – why not pretend to be wise with the following quotation:


Steve M Nash
Site owner of