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While on one hand both USSD and SMS appear similar technically and functionally, there are considerable

and significant differences in their technologies and features. The basic difference between the two technologies is that while USSD is session-based, SMS uses the store-and-forward approach. When a Subscriber accesses a USSD-based application, a session is established, which remains open over a radio connection till the Subscriber terminates the application. The table below presents a feature-based comparison of both the technologies. The winning approach from the Operator¡¯s point of view is to combine USSD with SMS by setting new quality standards. Features USSD SMS

Use of Signaling Channels * *

Use of Voice Channels

X *

Type of Functionality


Store & Forward

Message Length (7 bit character)

182 (160 bytes) 160 (140 bytes) Duration of Transaction 1 sec 7 sec Address Book * X Fast Dial Keys * X Support for 7.8 16 bit Encoding * .

* Guarantee of Message Delivery * * Interface TCP/IP SS7 Analogy Web browsing e-mail .

This is done by .info/tag/interesting-services> can be given using the USSD platform. It is generally associated with real-time or instant messaging type phone services. Response times for interactive USSD-based services are generally quicker than those used for SMS. USSD applications can be thought of as an IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System) with out voice. Some of the USSD applications that we use regularly are: * Alerts About special offers. USSD or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data is a capability of all GSM phones. The user will use USSD to send a USSD message to his friend asking him to call back. One such service is the ¡°call back¡± service. A sample USSD service is the bill status service accessed by dialing *141# or similar numbers in between * and #.Even though there are so many new technologies available for creating mobile applications. * Recharging using prepaid vouchers Other than these many interesting services <http://www. There is no store-and-forward capability that is typical of ¡®normal¡¯ short messages (in other words. services and news * Balance enquiry * Changing tariff plan and subscribing to various VAS services.3gtech. an SMSC is not present in the processing path). there is still a market for the old fashioned USSD applications.

he will be presented with menus where he has to enter the amount and the mobile number to which the money needs to be transferred. ¡°XXXXXXXXXX wants you to call him back¡± where XXXXXXXXXX will be your number. Assume 14 is the service number and you want me to call you back. *14*9846831128# I will receive a message. Users can transfer money from their mobile prepaid and post paid account to other mobile accounts. phone menu or sim menu is needed for USSD to function as USSD is supported by every GSM handset. Response times for USSD messages are shorter than SMS because SMS is a store and forward technology. When the user presses the number and dials.pressing the USSD service number and the number to which the alert needs to be send.blogspot. No additional application. The handset recognizes those numbers and forwards the request to the USSD server instead of initializing a normal call or a data call. Press this on your mobile and press dial. All USSD services are accessed by dialing numbers between * and #. <http://2. USSD supports interactive sessions where a service can be provided by using a menu. There will be a service number associated with it. USSD is a session oriented technology and hence it supports menus and transactions. The state of the interaction between the user is tracked by the USSD server. Micro payment market gets a real boom with the USSD technology in place.bp.gif> .com/_mAJDMuyu_WI/SIuRUo0KeRI/AAAAAAAAAnA/07ia_lIZkdU/s1600 -h/USSD_Architecture.

Tanzania and Nigeria in which it intends take the Commerce 360 mobile banking solution if it succeeds in the Kenyan> which is one and half year old has subsidiaries in utility services and other companies with the mobile phone owners <http://www.html> * ussd in nigeria <http://www.Barclays has started a Hello Money service in India.3gtech.3gtech. A similar service is being tested in Kenya < Incoming search terms for the article: * gold. Finally if interested here is a youtube video from late early 2000¡¯s showing USSD in practice.html> * ussd for voice <http://www.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8764&Itemid=581 2> called Commerce 360. Cellulant < Commerce 360 will link banks.html> * verizon ussd services <> .info/tag/mobile-phone-owners> .html> recharging using prepaid vouchers ussd <> * ussd market <http://www.html> * commerce 360 kenya <http://www. Other than Kenya. This is a USSD based service and quick demo can be viewed here <

3gtech.html> * wimax ussd <http://www. iphone 3gs ussd <http://www. Money Service <> . Banking Solution <http://www. barclays ussd <http://www. Call Back Service <> .3gtech.3gtech. Gsm Phones <http://www. commerce 360 kenya <> .info/tag/cellulant> .info/tag/call-back-service>>> .info/tag/ussd-applications-market> . Interactive Voice Response System <http://www. Supplementary Service <>> . recharge USSD <http://www.3gtech.3gtech. sestam recharge old 3g mobel <http://www.3gtech.3gtech. Mobile Phone Owners <http://www. Interesting Services < blackberry verizon ussd <http://www. Recharging using prepaid vouchers ussd <http://www. Cellulant <>> . Ussd <http://www. Unstructured Supplementary Service Data <> .info/tag/platform-one> .3gtech.html> * ussd number plan <http://www.3gtech. Platform One <> . Bsnl Ussd mobile banking <>> .info/tag/commerce-360-kenya>> .info/tag/gsm-phones> . USSD applications market < mobile-banking <> .info/tag/blackberry-verizon-ussd> . Smsc <http://www.* ussd market india> . Interactive Voice Response <> . Short Messages <> .html> Tags: 3gpp ussd call back <http://www.3gtech.3gtech.3gtech. kenya ussd <http://www. Last call cost ussd <http://www. mobile-applications <http://www.2010 <> .3gtech. IPR on USSD <http://www. Tariff Plan <> . ussd barclays .info/> .info/tag/bsnl-ussd-mobile-banking> .info/tag/ussd> .html> * ussd nigeria <>> . USSD advertising tariffs <http://www.> WAP -> Bearers . USSD Solution thailand <> .info/tag/ussd-dialing> .3gtech.3gtech.3gtech. ussd service sprint <http://www. ussd dialing <>> .3gtech. ussd laptop <> . USSD Kenya <http://www. ussd recharge india <> .3gtech.3gtech.3gtech.3gtech.3gtech. ussd solutions banking <> .info/tag/ussd-technology-price> .info/tag/voice-response-system>> .info/tag/ussdfor-voice> . Xxxxxxxxxx <http://www.3gtech. ussd solution <http://www. ussd ¼-ºñ½º 3G <http://www. USSD m-banking iPhone <http://www. Wimax USSD <> . ussd for voice <>> . VERIZON USSD services <> .info/tag/ussd-kenya> . USSD Nigeria <> .info/tag/ussd-technology-for-mobile-system>> .3gtech. ussd in nigeria <http://www. ussd service 2010 <http://www.2010 <>> .info/tag/ussd-solutions-banking> .3gtech. USSD technology price <> .info/tag/ussd-market> .info/tag/ussd-nigeria> .3gtech.3gtech.3gtech. Voice Response System <http://www. ussd number plan <> . USSD technology <http://www. ussd technology for mobile system <http://www. ussd market in Kenya <http://www. ussd market <http://www.3gtech.3gtech. what is the cost of ussd <http://www.3gtech. USSD Market India . ussd technology in nigeria <> .<> . vodafone uk ussd prepaid <http://www. USSD Chat platform for operators India <> .

WAP could kickstart usage of and traffic generated by this bearer. Since the WDP layer provides the convergence between the bearer service and the rest of the WAP stack. Only one network operator.mindya. Since CSD has relatively few users currently. the connect time is increased to about 30 seconds. Unstructured Supplementary Services Data .m-indya.SBC of the US.The WAP protocols are designed to operate over a variety of different bearer services. and delays.htm> for more information.htm> message would mean that even for the simplest of transactions several SMS messages may in fact have to be sent. Circuit Switched Data Most of the trial WAP based services use CSD as the underlying bearer. circuit-switched known to be developing WAP services based on SMS <http://www.m-indya.m-indya.m-indya. Given its limited length of 160 characters per short message. and packet the case of the need for analog modem handshaking (because the WAP phone does not support including short dial up connection taking about 10 seconds is required to connect the WAP client to the WAP the WDP specification [WDP] lists the bearers that are supported and the techniques used to allow WAP protocols to run over each SMS <http://www. and this is the best case scenario when there is an complete end to end digital call. CSD lacks immediacy. The list of supported bearers will change over time with new bearers being added as the wireless market evolves. Short Message Service See about SMS <http://www. This means that using SMS <http://www. The bearers offer differing levels of quality of service with respect to throughput.htm> as a bearer can be a time consuming and expensive or the WAP Gateway does not have a digital direct connection such as ISDN into the mobile network). error rate. The overhead of the WAP protocol that would be required to be transmitted in an SMS <http://www.htm> .htm> may not be an adequate bearer for WAP because of the weight protocol of the protocol.110 the digital protocol. However. The WAP protocols are designed to compensate for or tolerate these varying level of service.

* Users do not need to access any particular phone menu to access services with USSD they can enter the Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD) command direct from the initial mobile phone screen. Unlike SMS. As such. the user can receive an information services menu. * USSD Stage 2 has been incorporated into the GSM standard. . services based on USSD work just as well and in exactly the same way when users are roaming. USSD Stage 2 provides WAP-like features on EXISTING phones. USSD text messages can be up to 182 characters in length. or time out releases it. Stage 2 is more advanced and interactive. USSD has some similarities with SMS since both use the GSM network's signaling path. * Both SIM Application Toolkit and the Wireless Application Protocol support USSD. and because it is NOT a store and forward service. This has more in common with Circuit Switched Data than SMS. a session is established and the radio connection stays open until the user. Whereas USSD was previously a one way bearer useful for administrative purposes such as service access. USSD is not a store and forward service and is sessionoriented such that when a user accesses a USSD service. * Because USSD commands are routed back to the home mobile network's Home Location Register (HLR). * Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD) works on all existing GSM mobile phones. USSD can be up to seven times faster than SMS to carry out the same two-way transaction. application. According to Nokia. USSD has some advantages and disadvantages as a tool for deploying services on mobile networks: * Turnaround response times for interactive applications are shorter for USSD than SMS because of the session-based feature of USSD.Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD) is a means of transmitting information or instructions over a GSM network. By sending in a USSD2 command.

However. As such. USSD could be am ideal bearer for WAP on GSM networks. reducing the need to remember and reenter them. Best regards.* USSD strings are typically complicated for the user to remember. involving the use of the "*" and "#" characters to denote the start and finish of the USSD string. USSD strings for regularly used services can be stored in the phonebook. .