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Unstructured Supplementary Service Data

USSD redirects here. For the organization, see United ally in a basic format that can easily be seen on the phone
States Society on Dams.
display. Messages sent over USSD are not dened by any
Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), standardization body, so each network operator can implement whatever is most suitable for its customers.
USSD can be used to provide independent calling services such as a callback service (to reduce phone charges
while roaming), enhance mobile marketing capabilities
or interactive data services.
USSD is commonly used by prepaid GSM cellular phones
to query the available balance. The vendors check balance application hides the details of the USSD protocol
from the user. On some pay as you go networks, such as
Tesco Mobile, once a user performs an action that costs
money, the user sees a USSD message with his or her new
balance. USSD can also be used to rell the balance on
the users SIM card and to deliver one time passwords or
PIN codes.
Some operators use USSD to provide access to real-time
updates from social-networking websites like Facebook
and Twitter.[2] Wikipedia uses USSD to send articles to
some feature phones.[3]
USSD is sometimes used in conjunction with SMS. The
user sends a request to the network via USSD, and the
network replies with an acknowledgement of receipt:
Thank you, your message is being processed.
A message will be sent to your phone.

USSD on a Sony Ericsson mobile phone (2005)

sometimes referred to as Quick Codes or Feature


codes, is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones
to communicate with the service providers computers.
USSD can be used for WAP browsing, prepaid callback
service, mobile-money services, location-based content
services, menu-based information services, and as part
of conguring the phone on the network.[1]

Subsequently, one or more mobile terminated SMS messages communicate the status and/or results of the initial
request.[4] In such cases, SMS is used to push a reply
or updates to the handset when the network is ready to
send them.[5] In contrast, USSD is used for commandand-control only.

USSD messages are up to 182 alphanumeric characters


long. Unlike Short Message Service (SMS) messages,
USSD messages create a real-time connection during a 2 Technical details
USSD session. The connection remains open, allowing
a two-way exchange of a sequence of data. This makes Most GSM phones have USSD capability.[6] USSD is
USSD more responsive than services that use SMS.[1]
generally associated with real-time or instant messaging
services. There is no store-and-forward capability, as
is typical of other short-message protocols like SMS. In
other words, an SMSC is not present in the processing
1 Uses
path.
When a user sends a message to the phone company net- USSD Phase 1, as specied in GSM 02.90, only supports
work, it is received by a computer dedicated to USSD. mobile-initiated (pull) operations.[7] In the core netThe computers response is sent back to the phone, gener- work, the message is delivered over MAP, USSD Phase
1

2, as specied in GSM 03.90.[8] After entering a USSD


code on a GSM handset, the reply from the GSM operator
is displayed within a few seconds.

2.1

Format

A typical USSD message starts with an asterisk (*) followed by digits that comprise commands or data. Groups
of digits may be separated by additional asterisks. The
message is terminated with a number sign (#).[1]

2.2

USSD Mode

Mobile-initiated
USSD/ PULL or USSD/ P2P
when the user dials a code, e.g. *139# from a GSM
mobile handset
Network-initiated
USSD/ PUSH or USSD/A2P
when the user receives a push message from the network; primarily used for promotional services

Code table

EXTERNAL LINKS

Supplementary service codes


Call_forwarding#Mobile_.28cell.29_phones details
of Call forwarding codes for mobile phones
SIM Application Toolkit

5 References
[1] Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD)".
TelecomSpace. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
[2] Shetty, Anuradha (16 July 2011). TATA Docomo introduces Facebook, Twitter access via USSD. Tech2. Network 18 India. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
[3] Wadhwa, Kul (22 February 2013). Getting Wikipedia to
the people who need it most. Wikimedia blog. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
[4] Monitor usage on your phone. AT&T Residential Wireless Support. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
[5] Manage your account. AT&T Residential Wireless Support. AT&T. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
[6] Windows Phone 7 doesn't support USSD. Microsoft Answers. Microsoft. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 11 May
2013.
[7] GSM 02.90 (ETSI TS 100 625, V7.0.0) Specication
(USSD) Stage 1. 3gpp.org. 3rd Generation Partnership Project. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
[8] GSM 03.90 (ETSI TS 100 549, V7.0.0) Specication
(USSD) Stage 2. 3gpp.org. 3rd Generation Partnership Project. Retrieved 11 May 2013.

The codes below are NOT USSD codes, but rather MMI
codes: they are standardized so they are the same on every
GSM phone. They are handled by the handset and not [9] http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_ts/122000_122099/
122030/10.00.00_60/ts_122030v100000p.pdf
directly by the network. These codes might not always
work when using an AT interface; there are standard AT
[10] http://berlin.ccc.de/~{}tobias/
commands dened for each of these actions instead.[9][10]
mmi-ussd-ss-codes-explained.html

BS is the type of bearer service, some valid values are:


11 for voice
13 for fax
16 for SMS (only valid for barring)
25 for data
<leave blank> for all.
T is number of seconds for the No Reply Condition
Timer, default is 20 seconds if not specied.

6 External links
GSM 04.90 (ETSI EN 300 957, V7.0.1) Specication (USSD) Stage 3 3GPP
USSD Technology and packet ow in GSM network
https://www.facebook.com/USSD2
3GPP TS 22.030
GSM Feature Codes
GSM Features That Aren't Widely Known

See also

Selection of useful, but hard to remember GSM


codes

USSD Gateway

Whats the dierence between USSD, MMI and SS


codes?

Ultra Mobile Broadband

Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

7.1

Text

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unstructured_Supplementary_Service_Data?oldid=


753279452 Contributors: Kingturtle, Miernik, Falcongj, Pepijn Schmitz, Isopropyl, Robert Weemeyer, Matt Darby, Abdull, Rubicon, Rcsheets, Robotje, Andrewpmk, Anthony Ivano, P Ingerson, Broquaint, Wikiklrsc, Shyamperi, FlaBot, Naniid~enwiki, ShekharPalash, Lord
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7.2

Images

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7.3

Content license

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