An SMS Gateway enables a computer to send and receive SMS text messages to and from a SMS capable device over the global telecommunications network (normally to a mobile phone). The SMS Gateway translates the message sent, and makes it compatible for delivery over the network to be able to reach the recipient.
Evolution of SMS Gateways
At one point, SMS Gateways were actual physical pieces of hardware with SIM cards and embedded radios. Each SMS Gateway was individually connected to mobile phone networks to send text messages in a very similar way to a regular cellular phone.
Nowadays, modern SMS Gateways usually route SMS text messages to the telco networks via an SMPP interface that networks expose, either directly or via an aggregator that sells messages to multiple networks.
SMPP, or Short Message Peer-to-Peer, is a protocol for exchanging SMS messages between Short Message Service Centers (SMSCs) and/or External Short Messaging Entities (ESMEs).
Computers can interact with SMS Gateways in multiple ways:
- Through a REST API, where software developers send and receive SMS text messages over HTTP to the REST API, like Cloud Star Technologies Programmable SMS
- Using a Web Page or Software, where customers upload their messages and list of phone numbers
SMS gateways solve a common telecommunications problem, that of different wireless telephony providers using different or proprietary communication protocols. The gateway acts as a relay, translating one protocol into another. Wireless network operators use SMS gateways to connect SMS centers (SMSCs). An SMSC is the portion of a wireless network that handles SMS operations, such as routing, forwarding and storing incoming text messages on their way to desired endpoints.
Along with many commercial software products, open source SMS gateway
software can be downloaded online. Kannel, written in C, can make connections to SMSCs, cellular phones and GSM or GPRS modems. Kannel uses an HTTP / HTTPS interface for sending and receiving SMS messages.
SMS Gateway API
Our REST API uses JSON for requests. It is the API we recommend for all new SMS integrations. This modern API simplifies the encoding of characters for various languages , automatically deals with long messages and supports multiple web hooks for pushing status reports or receiving SMSs back to your web server.
Key features of our SMS API include:
- Quick messaging to individuals or groups
- 2-way messaging both locally and internationally
- Status (delivery) reports
- Sending of long SMS messages (concatenation)
- Send messages using Unicode character sets
- Incoming long numbers
- Custom Sender ID