SMS Service provider
SMS service provider is a company that offer SMS services for subscribers. For this purpose
they need to have an agreement with the mobile network operators to use their SMSCs.
Usually mobile network operators are also SMS service providers since they also offer
SMS services. There are also smaller business entities (the „small fish”) who are
between the users and the mobile network operators and only provide SMS services
but no mobile network.
SMS service providers act as mediators between mobile network
operators and SMS service users. Independent SMS service providers are often
aggregators of traffic, buying bulk SMS capacity from one or more mobile operators,
as well as other aggregators, allowing them to offer services less expensively than
dealing with the operator directly. But be aware because the lowest priced SMS service
provider is often not the most reliable. In many cases, the lowest priced providers
are delivering messages over roaming links from foreign providers. While these links
can be more cost effective, they are more susceptible to delays.
SMS service providers are also known as SMS gateway providers, SMS resellers (SMS brokers).
The difference is demonstrated below:
- SMS gateway provider: They can be called as SMS gateway providers because an SMS service provider can
also provide an SMS gateway for users to send SMS messages. Therefore, SMS messages
will be routed to other SMS gateways or SMSC by this gateway.
- SMS reseller (SMS broker): SMS providers can also be called as SMS resellers and SMS brokers. In this case
SMS service providers purchase great amounts of SMS messages from various wireless
carriers (mobile network operators) at a favorable low price per SMS message. Then
the SMS resellers sell these SMS message at a higher price making profit in this way.
SMS service providers usually support the following protocols/interfaces for
SMPP has been designated for SMS messaging that is why it is the most commonly used
protocol for SMS messaging. SMPP is a binary protocol that is for
communicating with SMSCs and SMS gateways. SMPP is suitable for both sending
and receiving bulk SMS messages.
HTTP is also commonly used for sending and receiving SMS messages. It is very simple to use.
However, HTTP supports lesser SMS features than SMPP protocol because HTTP is not
dedicated for SMS messaging originally.
- HTTPS (HTTP + SSL encryption)
With HTTPS you can make your data secure. It means that data will not be seen by others
on the Internet. When
HTTPS is used, data are encrypted before transmitting over the Internet, this way
data are protected from eavesdropping.
- XML over HTTP/HTTPS
XML over HTTP refers to that one or more SMS texts are put in XML file then it is
uploaded to the SMS gateway. XML over HTTP/HTTPS can be a better way
for bulk SMS messaging since it enables the submission of a large amount of SMS
messages in a single HTTP request.
SMTP is mainly used to send and receive Email-to-SMS and SMS-to-Email messages.
SMS service providers usually support only a subset of the above protocols.
Ways of requiring services
You can require SMS services from SMS service providers by two ways:
- The first option is purchasing a number of credits from the service provider.
You buy a number of credits from the SMS gateway provider. Then, you can use those
credits for sending messages. One SMS message will cost you one or more credits,
depending on the receiver country. (e.g. sending an SMS to India might cost you
one credit while sending an SMS to the USA might cost you two credits)
- The second option is purchasing a number of SMS messages from the SMS gateway
provider. The cost for sending one SMS message is the same for all destinations.
You can easily compare the available SMS providers because they share detailed information
about their services and connectivity options on their websites. Therefore you will
find information on the cost of the service, network
coverage, protocols supported, developers guide, etc, easily.
If you select the proper service provider you will experience good network coverage and
connectivity options. Many SMS providers offer SMS sending not only to GSM wireless
networks, but also to CDMA and TDMA wireless networks.
Generally, you will follow these steps
when you wish to send SMS via an SMS provider:
- Register for an account on the SMS service provider's web site. (Some SMS providers offer
testing possibilities and some free SMSs for new members).
- Log into your account.
- You can purchase some credits or SMS messages online.
- You can send SMSs according to the purchased credits or SMS messages. For SMS sending,
mostly SMPP or HTTP protocols can be used; however, further protocols and interfaces are
also available at many SMS providers.
To summarize it, SMS service providers are businesses that manage SMS messaging service for SMS users,
usually working together with mobile network providers. SMS service providers basically
offer an interface for sending and receiving SMS messages and they must not be mistaken with
mobile network providers. There may be some SMS service providers that are in agreement
with more than one mobile network providers, enabling them to deliver SMS messages to
their SMS centers directly.
To get more information, please visit the following websites:
The Ozeki NG SMS Gateway website
The best site about SMS integration