SMS Aggregator

What is an SMS aggregator?

SMS aggregators are the link between businesses that want to send SMS and the mobile phone networks that deliver texts to the users’ mobile phones.

SMS aggregators have direct connections with all global networks and are responsible for ensuring that SMS messages are routed correctly and delivered efficiently.

Sitting directly below the SMS aggregators are a huge number of SMS providers who offer business SMS and SMS API services. 

So there are in fact a 3 providers that exist between a company wanting to send texts to its customers and the end consumer with a mobile phone

1.Mobile phone network (Vodafone, O2 etc.) Own the infrastructure to enable sending and receiving of SMS.

2. SMS aggregator – Has the direct connections to all mobile phone networks

3. Business SMS providers – Provides the SMS services to businesses that want to use SMS to communicate with customers or members of staff. (Like The SMS Works, for example.)

SMS Aggregators

Many SMS aggregators like Twilio for example, don’t restrict their services to SMS. They often offer messaging services via OTT messaging apps like Imessage and WhatsApp.

Why do we need SMS aggregators?

Without SMS aggregators, companies like The SMS Works would have to maintain reliable connections with over 800 global mobile phone networks, it would be an impossible task, both technically and logistically.

A2P(application to person) SMS messages that are sent through our platform are sent to an SMS aggregator and they instantly transfer that data to the appropriate network.

They also provide customers with virtual mobile numbers that allow them to receive replies to the outbound text campaigns.

It all happens in seconds.

What do tier one aggregators do that’s so important?

With their direct connections to UK networks, tier one aggregators provide a number of benefits.

Speed of delivery – For most users, quick and efficient delivery of SMS is absolutely vital. This is particularly important if you are sending time sensitive information like two factor authentication codes for example.

Massive throughput – SMS aggregators can handle titanic volumes of SMS traffic without stretching their systems in the slightest.

They’ve developed the capacity and infrastructure to handle both steady volume and massive SMS traffic peaks like Black Friday promotions, for example.

Reliability – is obviously vital. Without robust and stable SMS solutions SMS aggregators would soon lose customers to their competitors.

Data security – SMS aggregators handle very sensitive transactional SMS from a wide range of customers. Whether its banking information, login codes or health data, their safety and security standards need to be the highest available.

Why do companies not go straight to SMS aggregators for sending their SMS?

This is mainly a question of volume. 

In order to work with an aggregator, you need to commit to a minimum volume of monthly messages. For most companies they will simply never achieve the monthly SMS volume required to become a customer.

Aggregators are not typically set up to handle the detailed support that many customers need and expect. 

They prefer to work with SMS providers who can focus on providing outstanding products, service and support, leaving them to concentrate on the technical relationships with global mobile phone networks.

What is a ‘tier one’ SMS aggregator?

A tier one aggregator is one that has direct connections with mobile phone carriers and doesn’t use ‘blended’ or grey routes for any of its SMS traffic.

Blended SMS routes are a mix of direct mobile carrier connections and grey routes in an attempt to offer a lower cost per text offering.

Tier 1 aggregators are the only option for business SMS users. Aggregators that use grey and blended routes suffer from a range of reliability and technical issues.

Related articles

What is tier one SMS? What exactly does tier 1 mean and it is important? What the difference between tier 1 and tier 2 SMS?

What is A2P SMS? What’s the difference between A2P and P2P SMS? Is A2P the same as transactional SMS?

A guide to transactional SMS The endless stream of SMS jargon continues with this explanation of transactional SMS.

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The Editorial Team The SMS Works