Development of an over-the-top network protocol for pervasive, secure and reliable data transmission over GSM short messaging service

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science


Information Systems & Computer Science


  • This study designs a new protocol for secure and reliable transmissionof data over the GSM Short Messaging Service (SMS). The development of the protocol involves the definition of allowable payload and the constraints due to conditions inherent in mobile networks. The study focuses on types of applications that have low cost and pervasive connectivity requirements. A scheme for ensuring that the data transmission can be properly authenticated and encrypted was applied. For this protocol, EAX, an AE mode of operation, is used to provide authentication, integrity and privacy security guarantees. A scheme for protocol compression and encoding of the data was also specified. This is to circumvent limitations inherent in the SMS protocol. LZ77 is used for compression and an appropriate 16-bit CRC is used for per message integrity checking. For this study, a CRC described by the polynomial 0xBAAD is suggested. Finally, the reliability of the said protocol with respect to the various ARQ schemes was analyzed using a reliability block diagram (RBD) and its reliability curves compared. The study shows that the use of alterative ARQ mechanisms such as Go-back-N and Selective Repeat improve overall transmission time at the expense of reliability.


The C7.Y83 2011