Behind every successfully sent SMS is an intricate network of services that work together to ensure your message reaches its destination. Regardless of where your recipients are in the world, SMS messages should arrive quickly and with the correct content. Different suppliers, each with their own specific role, make up the chain from companies to recipients. These include mobile operators, SMS aggregators, and systems integrators that offer SMS traffic as an integrated service.
When using SMS for business, each link in the chain has the potential to impact your overall success. This is because organisations use SMS for various important tasks, such as appointment reminders, delay notifications, one-time passwords, purchase confirmations, and information for loyal customers. SMS messages that don't make it or aren't delivered at the right time can lead to frustrated and dissatisfied customers, potentially damaging your company's reputation.
To ensure the quality you desire, it's essential to understand what to look for when choosing an SMS provider. A basic understanding of how your SMS messages will be delivered by a given provider based on their relationships with operators and aggregators will help you make an informed decision.
Flexible routing leads to flexible pricing
A key aspect of making a messaging ecosystem efficient is ensuring appropriate compensation for all parties involved. Mobile operators, who provide the infrastructure, get paid for the traffic sent to their mobile network. Compensation is usually controlled through interworking agreements covering every stage in the chain.
With over 1,000 mobile operators worldwide, there are many alternative routes to send your SMS messages. Most suppliers take advantage of this to find the most cost-effective route. For example, take a look at the image above. In the image above, 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 networks, so that 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, if the direct route fails, a supplier can use a redundant route to forward your SMS messages to their destination.
The downside of flexibility
As long as each link in the chain functions properly, you benefit from the sophisticated SMS ecosystem. However, some challenges arise when traffic is routed via unauthorised or unregulated paths. Routes with poor capacity or too many steps lead to late delivery, and there is a risk of mishandling SMS content, resulting in delivery mistakes. Unscrupulous parties may also use various back door options to access an operator's mobile network without paying. The price of these SMS will be low, but you will 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 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.
Quality suppliers actively work to maintain updated operator and aggregator relationships. This helps to ensure that SMS messages are delivered quickly and reliably and that issues are quickly identified and resolved. When choosing an SMS provider, it's important to consider the quality of the entire chain and not just the cheapest option. Quality providers will have a proven track record of successful SMS delivery and will be transparent about their processes and relationships with operators and aggregators.
Read more about quality SMS in our guide
Quality SMS is the obvious choice for businesses with important text messages to send and want to be sure that it is delivered on time. LEKAB provides you with high-quality SMS delivery worldwide. Direct integration with our system allows you to automate many processes related to sending A2P SMS messages. Download our guide to read more!