How Many Partnerships Does Your SMS Provider Have?

You’d think it would be easy to send information via SMS to customers around the world. SMS has been around for over 25 years, and a dominant communications platform for the past decade, so why isn’t sending an SMS as easy as sending emails? The reality is a lot more complicated. It’s easy to SMS your friends, even sending a text to several of your friends at once is easy, but if you’re a company sending bulk SMS messages isn’t just a matter of tap and click. There are rules, regulations, and technological hoops to jump through first.

To unlock the communications potential of SMS for marketing and communications, you need to work with a partner that understands the rules for sending SMS messages that differ from country to country, the technical challenges of worldwide messaging, and how the global messaging ecosystem works. The only way to do all that is to work directly with as many mobile network operators (MNOs) as possible.

Infobip covers 800+ mobile network operators (MNOs), has over 300 direct connections to MNOs, and has 40+ offices around the world. Infobip can send SMS messages to over 190 countries and works with hundreds of thousands of companies. Infobip has the deepest industry background and connections in the world. We make it easy for our customers to send an SMS to anyone, anywhere, any time.

Direct communications to your customers

Around the world, SMS messaging is handled by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) like AT&T, China Mobile, or Vodafone. The SMS ecosystem works so that you don’t have to worry that someone won’t get your text because you’re on Verizon and they’re on T-Mobile. That, however, only works for person-to-person (P2P) messages. Companies who want to send commercial messages to customers need to send messages through each of the many MNOs in a region and follow rules set up in each country regulating how messages are. Europe alone has well over 100 different mobile operators. At that scale, it is hard for a company without expertise to successfully manage and implement an SMS campaign of any time.

Infobip’s global messaging platform gives international enterprises end-to-end control over messaging. We use the same international telephony protocol that the MNOs use, Signaling System 7 (SS7), so Infobip customers have the best and most compatible access to the MNO network. In many markets our customers’ messages go straight onto the MNO’s network without intermediaries in between who raise costs or reduce reliability.

Direct connections to MNOs not only increases how quickly messages are delivered, but also give companies better information about how long it took for the message to get to your customer, if it was opened, and what action they took next.

Global operator partnerships

Direct-delivery methods work well in countries that allow customers to register with an enterprise over the Internet. But in many countries, a cell phone is the only communications device customers have.

In emerging markets, it’s very possible to communicate with a massive base of new customers—but only if you do it via their mobile phones. According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of adults in India have a cell phone. But only 11% have a working computer in their home. So for 70% of India’s adults—roughly 500 million people—the only way to reach them is through one of the local MNOs. Only 8% of Kenyan adults have a working computer, but 72% have a mobile phone. You’ll find similar demographics in Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, and many others.

(From Pew Research Center)

Mobile network operators in developing nations are still building their network infrastructure, but they recognize that A2P traffic is critical to their growth and stability. Infobip provides MNOs with hardware and software needed to handle A2P and other emerging mobile communications technologies. Because Infobip works with a number of MNOs, we can provide redundancy and failover solutions to ensure message delivery. We help more than 800 MNOs around the world monetize A2P messages and together grow the global communications infrastructure.

Navigate complex laws and technologies

Just 160 characters—that’s the length of an SMS message—but the length hides how complex it is to deliver a text to customers in any part of the world.

If you’re sending messages to U.S. customers, you need to pay attention to the latest legal rulings and FCC rules regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (a 1991 law that regulates both phone calls and text messages). In India, you can’t send commercial messages between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m., but in France it’s 8 PM to 8 AM. You can’t mention tobacco or alcohol in an SMS in the Philippines. You can’t mention alcohol, religion, politics, or sex in many countries. SMS short codes are four digits long in Spain, but five digits long in Sweden. And that 160-character limit? It’s 157 characters in Brazil.

Infobip has employees in 47 offices across 37 countries. We work directly with governments, regulators, and operators so we know how to ensure that messages get through and campaigns are successful.

We provide critical data to our customers

Infobip’s proprietary technology augments operator data on delivery rates and errors with additional information for in depth, actionable reports. We help customers refine campaigns based on real campaign data—delivery, opens, clicks, and actions. Whether there is a technical bottleneck to be worked out or a message that needs some tweaking, we can help improve results.

Excited and bullish on the future of messaging

Our aim is to help everyone involved in the still-developing world of SMS communications. We were fortunate to see the potential of A2P messaging early on. We partner with MNOs, companies, and consumers tap into the most ubiquitous messaging ecosystem available today. We’re excited about continuing to play a leading role in shaping the industry. Find out how Infobip can help you reach your communications goals.

Jul 11th, 2016
4 min read