SMS Gateway: Ultimate Guide

Feb 03, 2020
SMS Gateway

There was a time when an SMS Gateway used to be a very novel concept, one that required dedicated physical hardware to be used. This hardware would use SIM cards as well as embedded radios and connect with a computer to function as a text Gateway. However, in essence, this hardware would function exactly like a cell phone, once that was capable of only sending gateway SMS messages.

However, with the advancement in technology, building a message gateway has evolved, allowing for greater flexibility in the way that bulk messages can be sent.

A text gateway is especially useful for bridging the gap in telecommunications caused by different proprietary protocols used by telecommunication companies around the world. Essentially, a gateway builds a bridge between different protocols, allowing communication to flow seamlessly by translating the messages as per the specifications of the sending and receiving communication protocols.

SMPP, which is short for Short Message Peer-to-Peer, is a protocol that allows messages to be sent from the Short Message Service Centers, or SMSCs for short, to External Short Messaging Entities, or ESMEs. An SMSC is responsible for handling all routing, forwarding, and storage of all incoming messages before they are transmitted to the receiver.

Another protocol used by SMSCs is called CIMD, or Computer Interface to Message Distribution. This was developed by the cellphone manufacturer Nokia for its own SMSC.

Multiple software options exist online that allow messaging gateways. Some of these options are commercial, requiring users to purchase a license before they can be used, while there are a few free open source options available as well.

Some SMS gateways also provide support for HTML/HTTPS interfaces as well, which are arguably more comfortable to use compared to protocols available under SMSC. However, an HTML/HTTPS interface might not have as many SMS-specific features compared to an SMSC protocol.

What Is an SMS Gateway?

An SMS Gateway is a system that allows anyone to send and receive text messages from a computer to an SMSC, which then transmits messages to the cell phones on its network. If programmed correspondingly, a text message gateway can also convert a message into multiple formats for cross-platform compatibilities, such as if a message is being sent from a computer. A text gateway is especially useful for organizations as they have to send messages in bulk and quite often, requiring a specialized gateway to manage all incoming and outgoing messages.

Also, since SMSCs use different protocols, this makes it difficult to communicate with all of them at the same time to send the same message. A messaging gateway resolves this issue as well since it provides multi-protocol support, allowing the sender to deliver messages to multiple SMSCs at the same time.

All of these features make message gateways an essential tool to use for mobile marketing purposes.

What is Bulk Text Gateway?

Businesses need to send text messages to thousands of their customers at the same time, which is only possible if they use a bulk SMS gateway.

There are many benefits to using a bulk text gateway provider. First, it allows prompt communication with all customers of the business, allowing the delivery of important information such as discounts.

Second, companies can create greater brand awareness for their business by using a bulk text gateway.

Third, SMS offers a very affordable way for businesses to advertise their products and offerings.

Lastly, businesses can also open a prompt channel of communication with their customers and conduct surveys if needed.

Best SMS Gateway API

To use a text gateway, developers build an interface called an SMS API or SMS Application Programming Interface. The API enables users to send and receive text messages from a computer application through the text gateway, as the API contains the logical programming needed to collect the input message from the user and send it through the gateway to the receiver.

There are several message gateway APIs that you can use to fulfill your communication needs.

However, here is a list of some popular ones.

  1. Twilio
  2. Clickatell
  3. MessageBird
  4. Nexmo
  5. SMSGlobal
  6. Dexatel

Message Gateway PHP

There are many functions that an SMS API can perform through a PHP system, such as sending automatic SMS notifications, or any other type of automated SMS communication.

An SMS API is required to connect a gateway SMS to PHP. Usually, SMS API solutions come with a set of instructions on how you can integrate the API into multiple programs and systems, including PHP. Also, in many cases, SMS API providers offer their API in the user’s desired language, including PHP, which makes it very easy to integrate the API within a PHP system.

It is important to verify that the API is from a trusted and reliable source, as it would have access to sensitive information stored on the PHP after being integrated.

Email to SMS Gateway

An email to SMS gateway allows you to send text messages from your own email platform to the recipient’s cell phone in a seamless manner. Many gateway software providers allow easy integration with popular email platforms such as Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo. However, they can also be integrated into a company’s native email platform.

There are many free email to text gateways available on the internet. However, they may offer free services for a limited period of time.

However, you don’t need software to use an email to SMS as any email platform can be used to deliver an SMS by sending an email.

To use an email to SMS platform, users simply need to send the email to a specific email address. Usually, this email looks like the phone number of the recipient followed by the @gateway address. This address is unique to every service provider, as shown in the list of gateways provided below.

Email to SMS Gateway List

  1. AT&T SMS email gateway – @txt.att.net
  2. Sprint SMS email gateway – @messaging.sprintpcs.com
  3. T-Mobile SMS email gateway – @tmomail.net
  4. Verizon SMS email gateway – @vtext.com
  5. Ting SMS email gateway – @message.ting.com
  6. Boost Mobile SMS email gateway – @sms.myboostmobile.com
  7. Telus Mobility SMS email gateway – @msg.telus.com
  8. Xfinity Mobile SMS email gateway – @vtext.com
  9. Viaero SMS email gateway – @viaerosms.com
  10. Nex-Tech SMS email gateway – @sms.nextechwireless.com

Text Gateway Android

An android device can function perfectly as a text gateway if it has been coded correctly and integrated with an API. Thankfully, there are a few open-source android message gateways available on the internet that lets you convert an android device into a text gateway.

An example of a free message gateway API service is available at www.smsgateway.me. This service enables users to convert their android phones into a message gateway seamlessly.

Open Source SMS Gateway

There are many open-source SMS gateway services available free of cost to the public because they don’t hold a commercial license. By definition, an open-source application or service is created collectively by the public as they collaborate over the internet. Hence such applications and services are offered for free to the public.

Some examples of an open-source message gateway service include Jasmin, PlaySMS, Kannel, Kalkum, and Kapsystem.

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