A few commonly used mobile terms worth reading about.


3G is third-generation technology in a family of standards for mobile telecommunications. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephonevideo calls, and wireless data, all in a mobile environment.


Notifications, typically in the form of a text or multimedia message, containing time-sensitive information (event details, weather, news, services updates) that are pushed to a mobile subscriber who has opted-in to receive this information.

Application Provider

Application providers provide the technology platform for common short code service applications.


Shorthand for wireless carrier, carriers provide the network infrastructure for the delivery of messages between end users and connection aggregators or application providers.

Click to Call

A link on a mobile Web site “WAP site” that, when clicked, instantly initiates a call from that phone to a pre-specified number.

CSCA | Common Short Code Administrator

The entity that oversees the registration, assignment and tracking of CSCs.

Connection Aggregator

Connection aggregators provide connectivity between carrier networks and application providers. Aggregators reduce the time and effort needed to regularly check websites for updates.

Content Provider

Content providers are entities that own or have the rights to content. They often license content to application providers for delivery to end users.


CSC is the abbreviation for common short code.

End User

Another term for wireless subscriber, end users are people and/or entities that utilize short codes for communication with applications.

Geo Fence

A Geo-fence is a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area. A geo-fence could be dynamically generated – as in a radius around a store or point location. Or a geo-fence can be a predefined set of boundaries, like school attendance zones or neighborhood boundaries. Custom-digitized geofences are also in use.

Geo targeting

The method of determining the geolocation (the physical location) of a website visitor and delivering different content to that visitor based on his or her location, such as country, region/state, city, metro code/zip code, organization, Internet Protocol (IP) addressISP or other criteria.


A keyword is a unique word (or number) that is created for a specific short code campaign. Multiple keywords can be used on a single short code active during a single period. The keyword is the actual text that a user keys in on their mobile phone to interact with a campaign.

LBS (Location Based Services)

Location-based services are offered by some cell phone networks as a way to send custom advertising and other information to cell-phone subscribers based on their current location. The cell-phone service provider gets the location from a GPS chip built into the phone, or using radiolocation and trilateration based on the signal-strength of the closest cell-phone towers (for phones without GPS features).

Mobile Marketing

A form of marketing that generally uses SMS, MMS or WAP Push to deliver its promotion to mobile phones or other mobile devices. Like outdoor, print or interactive marketing, mobile marketing is simply another tactic marketers can use to reach a target audience.

MO message

A mobile-originated message, meaning an SMS or text message sent from a mobile phone. These messages are sent by a mobile subscriber by creating and sending the message from within their mobile phone.

MMS | Multimedia Messaging Service

MMS is a type of messaging that enables the sending of multimedia objects (images, audio, video) as opposed to the simple text enabled by Short Message Service (SMS) messages.

MMS Marketing

A form of mobile marketing that utilizes MMS (Multimedia Message Service) to send images, video, sound files and text messages between mobile phones and other handheld devices.

MT message

A mobile-terminated message, meaning an SMS or text message terminated on a mobile phone. These messages are typically viewed by the recipient in their text message ‘Inbox’.

MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator)

An MVNO is a Mobile Operator, which does not possess its own telecom network. An MVNO has its own SIM cards and purchases wholesale minutes from a Mobile Network Operator. An MVNO is free to apply its own pricelists and services, and manage its own invoicing and customer services.


Opt-in is a way of collecting mobile and Internet users’ personal data. Within the opt-in context, user acceptance is necessary before any mobile marketing solicitation.

Pull messaging

Describes the process where a person initiates a request from his/her mobile phone.

Push messaging

Describes the mailing of information (SMS/MMS), directly on the consumer’s mobile phone and under the condition that his/her acceptance has been given.

Random CSC

A CSC (Common Short Code) that is assigned by the CSCA Registry on a random basis from the pool of available CSCs.

Selected CSC

A CSC (Common Short Code) that the applicant/registrant specifically requests from the CSCA Registry. Selected CSCs are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis from the pool of available CSCs.

Shared Short Code

A short code that that used for multiple marketing campaigns through the leasing of keywords to different entities.

Short Code

A short code is a special telephone number, significantly shorter than full telephone numbers, which can also be used to address SMS and MMS messages from mobile or fixed phones. While similar to telephone numbers, they are, at the technological level, unique to each operator, although providers generally have agreements to avoid overlaps. Short codes are widely used for value-added services such as interactive voting, ordering ringtones and other mobile services.

Smart Phone

A smartphone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities, often with PC-like functionality (PC-mobile handset convergence).

SMS | Short Message Service

SMS is a service available on most digital mobile phones that permits the sending of short messages (160 characters) between mobile phones and other handheld devices. SMS is commonly referred to as text messaging.

SMS Marketing

A form of Mobile Marketing that utilizes SMS to deliver its promotion.

Text Message

See Short Message Service.

WAP | Wireless Application Protocol

An open international standard for applications that use wireless communication. Its principal application is to enable access to the Internet from a mobile phone or PDA. Mobile internet sites, or WAP sites, are websites written in, or dynamically converted to, WML (Wireless Markup Language) and accessed via the WAP browser.

WAP Push

A form of mobile marketing that utilizes WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) to push a specific WAP URL to a phone as a service message. This provides the recipient with access to media rich content via their WAP provider.

WAP Push messaging

An SMS message which includes a clickable WAP link.

WAP Site

A Web site that is specifically designed and formatted for display on a mobile device.

Web Widget

A Web widget is a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page by an end user without requiring additional compilation.Widgets are fun, engaging, and useful applications that allow users to turn personal content into dynamic web apps that can be shared on just about any website.

WML | Wireless Markup Language

A markup language based on XML, used to develop wireless applications.

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