UK based SMS API providers
Finding a UK based SMS API provider is harder than you might think. (Scroll down to see the list.)
In the past 10 years the UK SMS industry has witnessed a huge amount of consolidation. Larger SMS companies have been swooping in and buying up smaller competitors.
In particular, venture capital backed Commify have bought at least 5 Uk based SMS providers in the past 10 years.
My first venture, Text Marketer was the first of their purchases, back in 2013.
So the number of SMS gateway providers with head offices in the UK is far fewer than it used to be.
But If you’re a British company, sending text message mainly to British mobile phones, why does it matter where the SMS provider is based?
Surely providers all over the world offer the same type of service?
Reasons to choose an SMS API company based in the UK
1. They are embedded in the UK market and thoroughly understand all the rules and regulations that apply.
For example, most non-UK providers would not be aware that BT/EE recently changed the rules for sending business SMS to its 21 million customers.
Different countries have very different regulations and it’s important that your provider can advise on all the local rules and considerations.
2. SMS routing is far more likely to be the most reliable, tier 1 connectivity. UK companies have all their focus on ensuring that their UK delivery is as reliable as possible.
They are far less likely to be tempted by lower cost, blended or grey routes.
4. Pricing is likely to be lower. The UK SMS market is very competitive. To win and retain customers, suppliers need to ensure that they are offering low prices, backed up with faultless reliability and support.
5. Support will be available when you need it. SMS vendors without UK support teams won’t be able to provide support in UK office hours.
6. SMS Pricing will be in British pounds, not euros or US dollars. This means you won’t be at the mercy of fluctuating exchange rates to dictate the price that you pay per text.
7. Better support. Many large US companies like Twilio, have real issues with slow and unresponsive support . UK based companies tend to be far more attentive and nimble.
List of UK based SMS API providers
This list is much shorter than we expected. We’ve not included companies that have a head office outside the UK.
We suspect it’s not a complete list of UK providers, so if you know of any others, we will gladly add them.
Prices quoted here are accurate as of November 2023.
|SMS API provider||Web site||Cost per SMS for 1000 SMS (In pence, Ex VAT)||Cost per text for 10,000 SMS (In pence, Ex VAT)||Refund undelivered texts?|
|The SMS Works||https://thesmsworks.co.uk/||3.45||3.35||Yes|
|Esendex (Commify)||https://www.esendex.co.uk/||Not provided||Not provided||No|
|Text Anywhere (Commify)||https://www.textanywhere.com/||6.30||6.00||No|
|Text Marketer (Commify)||https://www.textmarketer.co.uk/||5.00||4.60||No|
|Fast SMS (Commify)||https://fastsms.co.uk/||4.90||4.70||No|
|Voodoo SMS (Commify)||https://www.voodoosms.com/||3.80||3.80||No|
|2sms (Commify)||https://gb.2sms.com/||Not provided||Not provided|
|Faretext||https://www.pageone.co.uk/||Not provided||Not provided||No|
|AQL||https://aql.com/||Not provided||Not provided||No|
We were somewhat gratified to notice that The SMS Works is the lowest cost SMS API company on this list. (Please note that we are not claiming to be the lowest cost UK based provider.)
We’re also the only provider that we could find that doesn’t charge for failed SMS, so there’s no wastage.
Not charging for undelivered texts is just one ways that we help our customers reduce their SMS spend.
We also have a Unicode character replacement tool that will automatically convert Unicode characters into their standard GSM equivalent.
Our emoji stripper automatically removes emoticons which use more SMS credits than standard characters.
One further tool is our AI optimiser, which automatically reduces message length, so that fewer credits are used.
‘We’re here to help you control costs as you grow’
Phil Warner – Technical Director, The SMS Works
Almost all UK SMS providers offer a reliable SMS service combined with decent documentation and support.
None of the companies on the list above use grey routes for their SMS traffic.
The SMS vendor that you choose will depend on competitive pricing and the SMS tools that will help you optimise your SMS activities.
Feel free to contact us if you like to discuss the level of service and tools that The SMS Works can provide.