Validity Period of SMS

Validity period of SMS messages refers to the time period after which the SMS message is expired in the SMS Center (SMSC) of the service provider. When an SMS message is sent to a recipient the SMS goes through the SMSC. If the recipient is not available the SMSC also stores the message until the recipient is available or for as long as the validity period allows.

Validity period, in other words, determines how long the SMSC should store SMS messages before they are deleted. Within this period, the SMSC holds the SMS message and will constantly keep trying to send it out to the recipient. When the validity period expires the SMS message will not be forwarded to the recipient cell phone even when it becomes online.

Both incoming and outgoing SMS messages are routed to their destinations via the SMSC of service providers. Validity period can usually be set in mobile phones and in SMS gateways but ultimately it is defined by the network service provider. It means that it is possible to set the validity period of your SMS in your mobile but only if this period is within the validity period of the SMSC. Longer periods cannot be set for SMSs.

Setting the validity period

Generally, in mobile phones or SMS gateways there is a menu option to set the validity period. In this menu you can set the exact time period within which the SMS should be delivered right after the recipient device becomes available. It is useful in cases when the content of the SMS message is only valid only for a short time (for example, an SMS reminder about a meeting tonight is unnecessary to be delivered next morning). After setting the validity period, the mobile phone will include the validity period in the outbound SMS messages automatically.

This option, however can only work if the set validity period is within the validity period of the SMSC. It means that if the SMSC has a default validity period of 3 weeks, you cannot set this period in your mobile device to be 4 weeks because the SMSC will not store the message for so long. In mobile devices and gateways the validity period is usually set to the maximum by default.

It needs to be mentioned that various service providers have different validity periods. For the exact value you need to contact your service provider because there is no general validity period.

How to use validity period

The following example demonstrates how to use the validity period:
You suddenly decide to meet your friends (or colleagues) tonight. To invite the people you send an SMS message. Probably, the meeting lasts for 3-4 hours. Your SMS text message will not be useful to your friends if their mobile phone is not available before the program finishes. In this situation, you may want to send a text message with a validity period of 2-3 hours to your friends. In this way the service provider will not deliver the SMS to your friends if their mobile phone is not available before the validity period ends.

To get more information, please visit the following websites:
The Ozeki NG SMS Gateway website
The best site about SMS integration

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