ACM Home Page
Please provide us with feedback. Feedback
DL HomeProceedingsMobiComCHANTS '08Citation
Exploiting the short message service as a control channel in challenged network environments
Full text PdfPdf (404 KB)
International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking archive
Proceedings of the third ACM workshop on Challenged networks table of contents
San Francisco, California, USA
SESSION: Architecture and deployment table of contents
Pages 57-64  
Year of Publication: 2008
Earl A. Oliver  University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
SIGMOBILE: ACM Special Interest Group on Mobility of Systems, Users, Data and Computing
ACM: Association for Computing Machinery
ACM  New York, NY, USA
Downloads (6 Weeks): 28,   Downloads (12 Months): 28,   Citation Count: 0
Additional Information:

abstract   references   index terms   collaborative colleagues  

Tools and Actions: Review this Article  
Save this Article to a Binder    Display Formats: BibTex  EndNote ACM Ref   
DOI Bookmark: Use this link to bookmark this Article:
What is a DOI?


The Short Message Service (SMS) is one of the most ubiquitous wireless technologies on Earth. Each year hundreds of billions of messages are sent, demand continues to grow, and competition between cellular providers is driving prices down. These trends create practical opportunities for SMS in today's mobile systems. In this paper we present the design and implementation of a robust SMS-based data channel, or SMS-NIC, that runs on a variety of mobile platforms. Through integration with an existing mobile system, we show that the SMS-NIC has little operational overhead and provides efficient, reliable transport for large messages send over the cellular network.

We motivate the design of the SMS-NIC through a characterization of SMS using workloads consisting of bursts of messages between cell phones tethered to Linux PCs and between smartphones. This analysis differs from previous SMS studies by focusing on transmission patterns that differ from normal SMS use. Through this characterization we show that bidirectional traffic and the choice of hardware have a significant effect on transmission rate, delay, and message reordering. We also show that burst size has no effect on SMS, losses are rare, and messages may be duplicated during transport.


Note: OCR errors may be found in this Reference List extracted from the full text article. ACM has opted to expose the complete List rather than only correct and linked references.

Umass dieselnet, 2007.
3rd Generation Partnership Project. 3GPP Specification, 2007.
D. D. Clark, M. L. Lambert, and L. Zhang. Netblt: a high throughput transport protocol. SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, 17(5):353--359, 1987.
Shimin Guo, Mohammad Hossein Falaki, Earl A. Oliver, Sumair Ur Rahman, Aaditeshwar Seth, Matei A. Zaharia, Usman Ismail, and Srinivasan Keshav. Design and implementation of the kiosknet system. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD 2007), pages 300--309, 2007.
X. Meng, P. Zerfos, V. Samanta, SHY Wong, and S. Lu. Analysis of the Reliability of a Nationwide Short Message Service. INFOCOM 2007. 26th IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications. IEEE, pages 1811--1819, 2007.
Earl Oliver. Design and implementation of an sms control channel for mobile systems. Technical Report CS-2007-42, University of Waterloo, February 2008.
C. Peersman, S. Cvetkovic, P. Griffiths, and H. Spear. The global system for mobile communications short message service. IEEE Personal Communications, 7(3):15--23, 2000.
A. Pentland, R. Fletcher, and A. Hasson. Daknet: rethinking connectivity in developing nations. Computer, 37(1):78--83, 2004.
J. Scott, P. Hui, J. Crowcroft, and C. Diot. Haggle: A networking architecture designed around mobile users. Proceedings of the Third Annual Conference on Wireless On demand Network Systems and Services (WONS 2006), 2006.
A. Seth, M. Zaharia, S. Keshav, and S. Bhattacharyya. Manuscript: A policy-oriented architecture for opportunistic communication on multiple wireless networks. 2006. Available from:
Petros Zerfos, Xiaoqiao Meng, Starsky H.Y Wong, Vidyut Samanta, and Songwu Lu. A study of the short message service of a nationwide cellular network. In IMC '06: Proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGCOMM conference on Internet measurement, pages 263--268, New York, NY, USA, 2006. ACM.