What is an SMS Gateway?

The working and features of an SMS Gateway

An SMS Gateway is a medium or a channel through which you can send/receive SMS to or from a telecom network, eventually routed to the mobile phones. It translates the messages which are in user-friendly application’s language to the mobile carrier compatible languages for the delivery over transmission networks to be able to reach the recipients. This whole process takes place in just a few seconds and the message is sent to a large number of recipients simultaneously.

An SMS Gateway is the easiest way to send an SMS to a large number of recipients (muliple recipients) spread across a country or even the whole world. If you want to know about the history of SMS, then you can read our blog post What is an SMS? and to know the reasons why a business or an individual should ake use of an SMS gateway read our blog post - Why you should use SMS marketing?

Now let us dive to know what an SMS gateway is.

Early Days of SMS

SMS Gateways started as fixed wired devices having inbuilt transceivers which transmitted messages from the terminal to the SMSC (Short Message Service Center). The devices were wired and carried only wired text only and no voice messages.
SMS Gateways evolved over the period of time and served multiple options connecting via REST API such as Start Messaging where SMS texts are routed to telecom networks via SMPP (Short Message Peer-to-Peer).

In today's time, with an SMS gateway like Start Messaging you can send SMS to a large number of people say your employees, vendors, clients and customers through the panel or via APIs - simple lines of code - integrated in your PoS or accounting or even your HR system.

Benefits of SMS Gateway

A secured SMS gateway such as Start Messaging can offer a variety of benefits to its users. Let us have a look at them.

Multiple Options

SMS Gateways allow you with a variety of channels to send the SMS, the easiest being the inbuilt panel and dashboard wherein you have to just type in the message once and input the cell phone numbers of the recipients. The cell phone numbers of the recipients can be copied and pasted into the panel.

Other option is to connect your systems used for day-to-day activities with the SMS gateway through an API (refer documentation here). Other options include plugins for different CMS systems. In any of these cases you can make your systems faster without worrying about the connectivity with different telecom networks.

Robust System

The servers for an SMS Gateway work 24x7 to give you, the customer a non-stop service round the clock. Secured SMS Gateway such as Start Messaging also have a fall back option. If one server fails to deliver the system falls back to the second one. Thus, a continuous, uninterrupted and seamless service is provided.

Secured API

The APIs are secured and only when your unique auth key is used will your SMS be transmitted away from any prying eyes. The SMS sent over the network to intended users can not be known since it is authenticated by Auth Keys. You can generate multiple keys for different purposes and applications.

Start Messaging offers APIs to send trnsactional & promotional SMS as well as OTP - One Time Password. These APIs are available in different programming languages such as PHP, Go Lang, Python, Java, Google AppScript, Android, iOS, C#, VB6 and Oracle. One can use the APIs available in these languages to suitably integrate in their respective systems.

These APIs are available in our APIs section which can be accesed by logging in to your Start Messaging account. You can find all the APIs with sample code for reference.

Cost Effective

SMS Gateways are cost effective means of communication and advertising. If you have a large number of recipients then the costs to connect and reach each user is almost negligible as compared to other medium of advertising and communication. You can communicate with your employees and clients without spending a fortune.

Start Messaging offers packages to suit your use without overspending and helps you walk on a budget. You can keep track of your use and buy SMSs as per your budgested requirements.

How an SMS Gateway works?

An SMS Gateway is a system that allows users to send SMS messages from a web browser to people within the cell served by that gateway. In simple words, an SMS gateway is a system that a user can login to and type a message and specify the cell number of the recipient and then press the send button. The website then requests the gateway which is a system to send the typed message through the telecom networks to the intended recipient.

An SMS gateway solves some common problems faced by the users in general. For example, different telecommunication networks have different system designs and protocols which are complex and not easily understandable in nature. With an SMS gateway, the users get a unified interface which is standard and easy to use. The technical complexities are taken care of by the SMS gateway.

Another problem dealt with is of costing and infrastructure which is taken care of by the SMS Gateway and the user can only focus on usage of the gateway in different cases.

Working of SMS Gateway

Let us now understand how an SMS Gateway works in few simple steps. We shall take the example of our own secured SMS Gateway Start Messaging to illustrate.

Step 1: Sign Up and Purchase

To send SMS messages to your users the first thing you need to do is to sign up on our website Start Messaging. On successful sign-up you can purchase Transactional, Promotional or OTP SMS. You can even start testing our service with the free credits we provide on your signup.

Step 2: The Panel

Send an SMS or two from the panel itself. All you have to do is to type the SMS in the message box, the cell number of the recipient in the 'To' Box, select a Sender ID and assign a Campaign Name in the 'Campaign Name' box. Click the 'Send SMS Now' button and the message is on its way. Before you blink twice the SMS will be delivered.

The SMS can be also scheduled for later time by clicking on 'Schedule SMS'. You can specify the time and date when the SMS is to be sent.

Step 3: The Working

When the user presses the 'Send SMS Now' button the message typed is sent along with the recipient cell no and Sender ID to the server. For authenticating the message is coming from an authorised source, the 'Auth Key' is also sent along with the details mentioned before. On successful authentication the SMS is sent ahead for delivery.

The system then chooses the best available telecom network for the fastest delivery. The details are sent to the telecom network to be delivered to the intended recipient. As the telecom service providers receive the SMS they line it to deliver to the recipient and deliver it. All these steps happen within a span of few seconds from the time the user presses the 'Send SMS Now' button.

The same process as mentioned above is applicable in case of SMS sent through our secured APIs integrated with various systems.

Step 4: Stats & Reports

On successful delivery of the SMS the 'SMS Balance' is adjusted i.e. the no of SMSs sent are deducted from the current balance. Also, the delivery status report is reflected in the 'Delivery Reports' section. In this section the user can see whether the SMS has been delivered or not along with the reason of non-delivery.

An SMS Gateway is the best way to connect with anyone to communicate with from an organisation point of view, is cost effective and easy to adopt and use. Many organisations world over rely on an SMS Gateway to get communications and authentications up and running.

Sign up today on Start Messaging if you have not yet signed up and start connecting your business with your clients and custoners.

Also please share this blog post with your fellow business owners and associates. They may come up with ideas that you can use with Start Messaging that can help your business.