Why You Should Choose Your SMS Supplier With Care
Most companies can’t afford to work with communication providers with shortcomings. A breakdown in the complex ecosystem carrying out the delivery of your SMS text messages can be a hazard. It can result in your messages not being delivered, arriving later than intended, or in the delivery of distorted content. But with a little knowledge you can make sure you’ve chosen a quality messaging supplier that will ensure delivery.
Is your SMS Supplier Providing Quality Service?
The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) governs the technical details and protocol for SMS text messaging in Europe. Whether sent between two phones, or from an application to a phone, SMS look basically the same everywhere. With such a standardized product, choosing one SMS supplier over another might not feel like the most important decision. It’s easy to think each service is the same, so the simplest thing to do is to let price decide. But in reality, the choice you make of SMS provider is a significant one for your company.
Behind every successfully sent SMS is an ecosystem with different services interacting to make sure your message reaches its destination. Regardless of where your recipients are in the world, SMS should arrive quickly, and with the right content. Different suppliers all with different roles make up the chain from companies to recipients. These include mobile operators, SMS aggregators, and systems integrators that offer SMS traffic as an integrated services.
When you use SMS for business, each link in the chain could have a potential impact on your overall success. This is because organizations use SMS for many important things; appointment reminders, delay notifications, one-time passwords, purchase confirmations, or information to loyal customers. SMS that don’t make it, or that aren’t delivered at the right time, can lead to frustrated and dissatisfied customers. You don’t want something as simple as a text message to cost you the goodwill of a customer!
To get the assured quality that you probably are looking for, you need to know what to look for. Some basic understanding of how the delivery of your SMS text messages will be secured by a given provider, based on their maintenance of healthy relationships with operators and aggregators, will help you make the right choice.
Flexible Routing Gives Flexible Pricing
One important cornerstone of making a messaging ecosystem efficient is the appropriate compensation of all parties for their contribution. When mobile operators (who account for the infrastructure) get paid for the traffic that is sent to their mobile network, compensation is usually controlled through interworking agreements covering every stage in the chain.
Over 1,000 mobile operators around the world means there are many alternative routes to send your SMS. Most suppliers take advantage of this possibility in their efforts to find the most cost effective route.
For example, take a look at the image below. In the image you can see a hypothetical situation where it costs 4 cents for an SMS supplier to send a message to Operator B. Operator A, on the other hand, pays only 2 cents to send an SMS to Operator B’s network, so they can send SMS to Operator B for 3 cents, and still make a profit of 1 cent. This means that the SMS supplier can deliver SMS to Operator B at a lower price than if sent via the direct route. In cases like this, your company can benefit by paying a lower price per SMS.
The ability of SMS suppliers to flexibly choose between various routes can also improve the quality of SMS delivery. For example, when you use SMS in business communication, your supplier can also use a redundant route to forward your SMS to their destination, in case the direct route fails.
The Dark Side of Flexibility
As long as each link in the chain works, you benefit from the sophisticated SMS ecosystem. But a number of challenges arise when traffic is routed via unauthorized or unregulated paths.
Routes with poor capacity or too many steps lead to late delivery. Another risk is the mishandling of SMS content, resulting in delivery mistakes.
Shady parties also use various back door options to access an operator’s mobile network without paying for it. The price of these SMS will be low, you’ll end up paying the price through poor quality messaging and delivery service. You won’t know what your messages look like when they arrive, if and when they get delivered. If mistakes do occur, it’s unlikely that you will get any feedback about what’s happened, or why. If you do get delivery information, there is a high risk that unethical suppliers will fake the delivery receipts.
Fast-learning operators pay attention to what happens in their network, and work to detect and block these types of parasites. For the user of a low-quality SMS service provider, this means that the service could stop working at any time (read our article about these issues).
The quality of the entire chain is only as good as the lowest quality link. Quality suppliers actively work to maintain updated operator and aggregator relationships. This is how they ensure that they can always offer high quality SMS messages and reliable delivery.
So what parameters determine whether a supplier delivers your SMS according to your needs and expectations? And what are the factors that enable a stable, quality experience over time? For more information on this, take a look at our article “How to Evaluate Your Company’s SMS Supplier.”
When you integrate SMS into your communication strategy, it’s important to choose the right supplier. Download our guide to quality SMS to learn what to look for in your supplier.