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Presents an overview of the GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) short message service (SMS) from the viewpoint of implementing new telematic services. It is motivated by the increasing potential that the SMS offers for integration with existing messaging services and its ability to offer an alternative to TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol) for low-bandwidth applications. Initially, this tutorial gives a brief overview of the building blocks of GSM networks and then the SMS network and its protocol architecture. The most widely used protocols for message submission are then introduced and compared in terms of their ability to handle extended alphabets, two-way messaging etc. Finally, the tutorial outlines a summary of current and future issues for further research and development in the light of novel features for submission protocols and telematic services.