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The role of SMS Center in a 5G Network

A few years ago, vendors were suggesting that peer-to-peer SMS sending was on the decline and the mobile operators (#mnos) should invest in RCS instead. Although peer-to-peer SMS sendings have decreased, the increase in SMS sending for marketing purposes, sending SMS notifications of other services, and sending a single password for authentication in banking applications again made SMSC investments mandatory.

The 3GPP specifications state that the SMSC still holds a crucial position and is in charge of coordinating the SMS interworking. When a user device registered to a 5g network tries to send an SMS to a user in another network (eg IMS), SMSF has to submit it to SMSC, and SMSC to IPSM-GW respectively, since the B party number is not in the #5g network.

At this point, another critical issue is that the storage of the message is still the task of the SMSC. The SMSF has no obligation to store the message.In other words, the SMSC is responsible for storing the message when a device connected to a 5G network sends an SMS to another device in the 5G network, but the message is not delivered for some reason.

You may consider the number of messages stored in SMSC may increase dramatically due to the possible transient errors that may occur in IoT devices. And thus, it may lead you to think that the ability of the SMSC will still be used, and the operators will boost their SMSC investments.

However, I do not think so.

While I feel that 3GPP has given SMSC with message store functionality and SMS interworking, for the time being, I believe that new-generation SMS enabler vendors will lay out a long-term plan to take over the orchestration and storage duties currently performed by SMSC.

What about service notifications, banking SMS, and other marketing SMS? For those, the new route is already clear. Authentication applications have already entered our lives, and most importantly, CPaaS (Communication Platform as a Service) providers that enable OTT messaging services will more than fulfill this task.


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