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How does sms work on the client end mobile

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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I am looking for some comments or from someone that actually truly knows how SMS works on the client side as in a mobile phone. And I don't mean a development app using SMS I mean the built in SMS that comes with each OS on a mobile phone. I know a server pushes the text message down to the mobile phone but still under the covers doesn't the phone have to be polling something. I mean doesn't the kernel layer or something have like a thread/task going that is looking for information/signal/data from the home server?
Please only answers from people with first hand knowledge no assumptions or guesses.
Thanks
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