How We Deliver Your SMS Messages
When we launched GatewayAPI.com at the end of 2015, we had two message classes, or service levels if you will; “Premium” and “Bulk”. Going forward we are replacing “bulk” with “Standard” and this blog post will among other things explain why that is.
Let’s start by describing the problem with “bulk” SMS and then describe how we deliver our SMS messages.
The problem with “bulk”
It quickly became apparent that what we thought of as “bulk” were not the bulk sms product our customers expected or what we generally find in the market under the name “bulk”. Typically, “bulk” is a product that has the following properties that aren’t comparable with our product, like:
- Bulk SMS is slower than “normal”
- You can’t be sure a bulk SMS is delivered
- Bulk SMS may not support your own sender
Some of our competitors are providing a very low cost product, where they send the SMS messages through far-away places in order to transmit SMS messages at unsustainable low prices, taking advantage of interconnects across borders. An SMS bound for Denmark could for example take a detour to Thailand first so it would arrive via a cheap route. It’s easy to see how this adds latency, making it a slower product.
Often this is used for unsolicited messaging, or spam SMS messages, since the cost in some cases is extremely low.
Of course the carriers were not happy with this situation and they have been mass deploying “SMS firewalls” the last couple of years. The specifics vary by implementation, but in general they react to different patterns in the messages or connections that are unusually busy. If e.g. danish carriers notice an unusually high volume of traffic from Thailand, they will block all traffic from Thailand, as it is unrealistically high and therefore obvious misuse. This is a common cause for bulk sms delivery rates to suddenly drop.
While there are use cases for this kind of product, it’s not something we offer or endorse. When we said bulk SMS, we meant wholesale SMS offered at affordable prices, delivered with best effort in terms of speed, but never sacrificing deliverability or features.
In fact, it is our stance that more than 98 % of our A2P (application to person) traffic should be sent using our bulk sms product. Clearly this is not the same bulk sms product as described above.
With premium there is still a bit of confusion, as some use premium to refer to SMS payment. However when we say premium we mean a premium service level.
For the premium product we provide
- The most direct route possible, worst case: 1 hop connections
- Fastest delivery of messages
- SMS payment where available
Through a partnership with a major multinational carrier, our premium product has direct routes for 21 countries, with 77 more as 1-hop connections. We also work directly with all the carriers in our home market Denmark.
We will expand the direct routes to even more countries as we build up the required traffic volumes to work directly with the carriers in these countries. Traffic for countries not part of the 98 connected via direct or 1-hop, goes through 2-hop connections but still using premium providers.
The hop count refers to the number of intermediates between the source (you), and the destination (end users mobile network). While there are many other important factors such as latency and capacity, in general less hops is better.
Premium is a good fit for:
- Mission critical messaging
- Sensitive communication (i.e. health care, passwords etc.)
- Special legal requirements (i.e. direct route only)
- A2P messaging that are not cost sensitive
SMS messages sent using our most popular product, standard, are essentially best-effort deliveries. In some countries this will be via a direct route, in others via partners, but in general we do not offer anything beyond 2-hop routes. With this product, you can expect a fast and nearly guaranteed delivery of your messages at highly competitive prices.
We closely monitor our routes and keep a good balance towards quality over price. In rare cases congestion may occur and for some routes delivery reports may be less than 100%, however this is the exception, not the norm.
Our standard product is what we envision bulk sms to be, the bulk of your SMS messages delivered fast and at a good price.
Standard is the default class (or service level) in our API’s. If you didn’t explicitly set the class in your API call to another class than “standard”, the messages will be sent via our standard product.
Standard is a good fit for…:
- A2P messaging, cost sensitive
- Wholesale communication
- Bulk SMS
- Everything you can think of, except unsolicited messaging (spam)
For more information on the Standard and Premium class as well as recommended use, please visit our page on Standard & Premium SMS. To see our SMS prices in over 200 countries as well as information on possible country-specific restrictions, please visit our page on pricing.
Global SMS Gateway
We have made it simple to implement SMS services into your business by offering some of the best prices worldwide as well as easy integration, world-class customer support, an intuitive interface and a rock-solid uptime of over 99.99 %. If you don’t have an account yet, you can create a FREE account in less than two minutes here: Go to GatewayAPI or contact email@example.com.