Unstructured Supplementary Service Data or USSD is a protocol used to perform two-way communication link that provides real time connection between the Telco computers and the GSM device in use (or in our case our mobile phones). It is a fast way of accessing data from our telco’s computers without us waiting for them to reply to our messages via SMS. Also, since connections are kept alive and are only terminated when the user is no longer using the service, USSD is much faster compared to SMS transactions.
In short, USSD is the protocol used by telco’s in order for us to do this:
Looks familiar? You’ve got it! Its the
*143# + call button
for Globe Telecom (Philippines); and the
*121# + call button
for Smart Telecom (Philippines).
So next time you dial those numbers and transact with it, you know what made it possible – the USSD protocol.
Personally, I would call the menu as the USSD menu. 🙂