The Ultimate Guide to SMS Gateway

SMS Gateway
Staff Writer

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Feb 3, 2020

Table of Contents

What Is An SMS Gateway?

How SMS Gateway Works

What Is SMS Gateway API?

The Best SMS Gateway APIs to Consider

What Is A Bulk SMS Gateway?

What Is Email to SMS Gateway?

What Is Text Gateway Android?

What Is An Open-Source SMS Gateway?

How To Use SMS Gateway

Whether you're sending appointment reminders, marketing promotions, or important alerts, using an SMS gateway can help you reach your target audience efficiently. And with the prevalence of SMS messaging, it's no surprise that businesses have turned to this medium to communicate with their customers. But with so many SMS gateway options available, choosing the right one for your needs can be overwhelming. 

We’ve created a foolproof guide to SMS gateways, including their benefits and how to choose the right one for your business so you can communicate with your customers with ease. Let's dive in and discover how SMS gateways can revolutionize the way you communicate with your customers and stakeholders.

What Is An SMS Gateway?

An SMS gateway is a system that lets people send and receive text messages from a computer to a Short Message Service Center (SMPP). The latter 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 compatibility. A text gateway is especially useful for organizations that often send bulk SMS and require a specialized gateway to manage all incoming and outgoing messages.

How SMS Gateway Works

At its core, an SMS gateway acts as a bridge between mobile networks and the internet, enabling two-way communication between businesses and their customers. When a business sends an SMS message to a customer, the message is sent from the business's computer or server to the SMS gateway. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how it works:

  1. The business composes an SMS message on their computer or server and sends it to the SMS gateway.

  2. The SMS gateway receives the message from the business and converts it into a format that can be sent over the mobile network.

  3. The SMS gateway then forwards the message to the mobile network of the recipient's phone.

  4. The mobile network delivers the message to the recipient's phone.

  5. When the recipient responds to the message, the mobile network sends the response back to the SMS gateway.

  6. The SMS gateway receives the response and converts it into a format that can be received by the business's computer or server.

  7. The SMS gateway then forwards the response to the business's computer or server.

  8. The business receives the response and can then take action accordingly.

What Is SMS Gateway API?

SMS Gateway API is an application programming interface that allows software applications to interact with an SMS gateway provider to send and receive text messages. This API enables developers to integrate SMS messaging functionality into their applications, websites, or software platforms, allowing companies to engage in business text messaging

The API works by providing a set of protocols and procedures that enable software applications to connect to an SMS gateway provider's platform via the internet. It allows developers to create custom applications that can send and receive SMS messages, query message status, and perform other SMS-related tasks.

Using SMS Gateway API can provide many benefits, such as enabling businesses to automate their SMS communications, increase customer engagement, and streamline their communication processes. For example, businesses can use the SMS Gateway API to send personalized messages, automate appointment reminders, or send promotional offers to customers.

This is widely used in various industries, including banking, eCommerce, healthcare, and logistics. By integrating SMS messaging functionality into their applications, businesses can provide their customers with a more convenient and personalized communication experience.

The Best SMS Gateway APIs to Consider

1. Twilio

Twilio is one of the most popular providers, offering a user-friendly API and a wide range of features. 

2. Nexmo

Nexmo offers a reliable and easy-to-integrate SMS gateway API that supports two-factor authentication and delivery confirmation.

3. MessageBird

MessageBird’s user-friendly API boasts a variety of features like text marketing, two-way messaging, and reporting. 

4. Plivo

Featuring a robust SMS gateway API, Plivo comes with functionalities such as message scheduling, two-factor authentication, and delivery reporting.

5. Infobip

Infobip provides a reliable SMS gateway API that supports multiple programming languages and offers various pricing plans based on usage.

6. Dexatel

Offering competitive pricing and an abundance of features, Dexatel’s SMS API offers two-factor authentication, personalized messaging, and delivery confirmation. 

What Is A Bulk SMS Gateway?

Businesses can only send text messages to thousands of customers at the same time if they use a bulk SMS gateway. A bulk text gateway provides prompt communication with customers, whether it’s flash sales, discounts, surveys, or any other SMS marketing-related information. And to make it even more enticing, SMS offers a very affordable way to advertise products and offerings.

Companies can create greater brand awareness with a bulk SMS gateway. It’s especially useful for bridging the gap in telecommunications. Essentially, a gateway builds a bridge between different protocols, authorizing communication to flow seamlessly by translating the messages according to the communication protocols.

There are multiple software options that allow messaging gateways. Some require users to purchase a license beforehand; others are free open-source options. Certain SMS gateways also provide support for HTML/HTTPS interfaces, which are arguably more comfortable to use compared to ones under SMSC. However, an HTML/HTTPS interface might not have as many SMS-specific features compared to an SMSC protocol.

What Is Message Gateway PHP?

Message Gateway PHP is a PHP-based library that allows developers to send and receive SMS messages using an SMS gateway provider's API. This library simplifies the process of integrating SMS messaging functionality into PHP-based applications.

You need an SMS API to connect a gateway SMS to PHP. SMS API can perform several functions through a PHP system like sending SMS reminders, notifications, or any other automated communication. In many cases, SMS API providers offer their API in the user’s desired language, which makes it very easy to integrate the API within a PHP system.

Usually, SMS API solutions come with a set of instructions on how you can integrate the API into multiple programs and systems, including PHP. It is important to verify that the API is from a trusted and reliable source; it would have access to sensitive information stored on the PHP after its integration.

What Is Email to SMS Gateway?

An email-to-SMS gateway lets you seamlessly send text messages from your email platform to the recipient’s mobile phone. This allows users to send and receive SMS messages using their email inbox or email address. Users can send an email to an email-to-SMS gateway, and the gateway will convert the email into an SMS and deliver it to the recipient's phone number.

The process of sending emails as SMS is relatively simple. Users can send an email to a specific email address provided by the SMS gateway service, and the email content will be converted into an SMS message and delivered to the recipient's mobile phone number. This can be especially useful for businesses that need to send bulk SMS messages to their customers or stakeholders.

Many gateway software providers allow easy integration with popular email platforms such as Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo. In any case, you can also integrate it into a company’s native email platform.

You’ll find many free email-to-text gateways online, but they may offer a free trial for only a limited period of time. To use an email-to-SMS platform, you must send the email to a specific address that looks like a phone number of a recipient followed by the @gateway address. Here’s what they look like:

  • AT&T SMS email gateway:

  • Sprint SMS email gateway:

  • T-Mobile SMS email gateway:

  • Verizon SMS email gateway:

  • Ting SMS email gateway:

  • Boost Mobile SMS email gateway:

  • Telus Mobility SMS email gateway:

  • Xfinity Mobile SMS email gateway:

  • Viaero SMS email gateway:

  • Nex-Tech SMS email gateway:

What Is Text Gateway Android?

An Android device can function as a text gateway if properly coded and integrated with an API. Text Gateway Android is an Android-based application that enables businesses and individuals to send and receive SMS messages using an SMS gateway provider's API. It allows users to send SMS messages directly from their Android device using their preferred SMS gateway provider, without the need for a separate SMS messaging app. 

What Is An Open-Source SMS Gateway?

An open-source application or service is created collectively by the public as a result of online collaboration, explaining why it is offered for free. One of the benefits of using an open-source SMS gateway is that it provides businesses with greater control over their SMS messaging infrastructure. Businesses can customize the software to meet their specific requirements and integrate it with their existing applications or software systems.

There are many free open-source SMS gateway services available that hold no commercial license:

  • Kannel: Kannel is an open-source SMS gateway that supports a wide range of protocols, including SMPP, UCP, and HTTP. It is written in C and is widely used in the telecom industry.

  • Ozeki NG SMS Gateway: Ozeki NG is a powerful open-source SMS gateway that supports a range of messaging protocols and APIs, including SMPP, HTTP, and XML. It also provides delivery reports and supports two-way messaging.

  • Gammu: Gammu is an open-source SMS gateway that supports a wide range of mobile phones and modems. It can be used to send and receive SMS messages, as well as manage contacts and SMS templates.

How To Use SMS Gateway

Choose The Right SMS Gateway Provider

There are many SMS gateway providers available, and it's important to choose one that meets your specific needs. Look for a provider that offers features such as easy integration, message customization, and analytics.

Set Up Your Account

Once you have chosen your provider, set up an account with them. You will need to provide information such as your business name, contact information, and payment details.

Choose A Pricing Plan

Most SMS gateway providers offer different pricing plans based on the number of messages you want to send. Choose a plan that meets your business needs and budget.

Integrate The SMS Gateway Into Your System

Once your account is set up, you will need to integrate the SMS gateway into your system. This involves adding code to your website, mobile app, or other systems to allow you to send and receive SMS messages.

Personalize Your Messages

Customize your SMS messages to make them more engaging for your customers. Use their names, ask for their feedback, and provide them with useful information that they will find valuable.

Send Your Texts

Once everything is set up, you can start sending SMS messages to your customers. You can use SMS gateway to send promotional offers, notifications, appointment reminders, and more.

Monitor Your Results

Keep track of your SMS campaign results using the analytics tools provided by your SMS gateway provider. Monitor your open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to optimize your SMS campaign.