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SMS Mobile Originated and terminated Call Flow

The diagram below depicts message flow or signals between various network elements when SMS
is sent from MS-A to MS-B.

Behind this SMS, there are basic protocols such as SS7(Signaling System No.7) and SMPP(Short
Message Peer to Peer Protocol). SS7 supports communication between core network elements.
SMPP is used in IP domain. SMPP is responsible for communication between SMS center(SMSC)
and ESME(e.g. service provider/content provider).
Following are the steps for entire SMS process from originating mobile(MO) to terminating

The SMS-SUBMIT is the MO FSM message(Mobile originating forward short message) which is
between origin MSC and origin SMSC.

The message received by SMSC is acknowledged to the origin subscriber MS-A by SMS-SUBMIT
REPORT. The MS-A gets indication message as "message sent" from origin SMSC.

Origin SMSC gets the required information from HLR regarding destination MSC/VLR to route the
SMS. This information is obtained by SRI SM request(Send Routing information for short message).
HLR responds the required information to origin SMSC in RESP message.

After receiving the routing information origin SMSC delivers the message to respective destination
MSC/VLR, which in turn delivers the SMS to MS-B. The same is indicated in the figure by MT-FSM

Once the SMS is delivered to the MS-B, MS-A gets indication message as "message delivered"
OR "message succeddfully delivered". The same is mentioned by SMS-STATUS REPORT in the

Please note that connection from MS-A and MS-B is with the BTS as shown and BTS is connected
with BSC and BSC is interfaced with the MSC.

SMS Originating Part MO SM Submit :
The SM is sent from the originating Mobile Station (MS) to the serving Mobile Switching Center
(MSC). The address of the SMSC where the SM should be submitted to is stored on the SIM card
of the subscriber and forwarded to the MSC with the message.
The MSC forwards the SM to the SMSC. The SMSC returns a positive (ACK) or negative (NACK)
response indicating whether the message was successfully stored of not.
SMS Terminating Part MT SM Deliver :
To delivers a SM SMSC has to find out the location (serving MSC) and the International Mobile
Subscriber Identity (IMSI) of the recipient subscriber first. This information (routing information) is
retrieved from the Home Location Register (HLR) of the recipient subscriber based on the recipient
number (MSISDN).
HLR Provides routing Information to SMSC, which includes IMSI and serving MSC of recipient
Based on routing information SMSC delivers SM to the serving MSC and MSC forwards it to the
recipient Mobile Station.