how to get started providing a service via SMS?
May 15, 2007 2:32 PM   Subscribe

i would like to develop services that receive and send sms (text messages). how can i get started, playing around with my ideas?

i would like to write services that receive and send sms (text messages). how can i get started?

if i could also receive and send mms, that would be great.

i found this question: but am not necessarily looking to get a shortcode. do i have to have a shortcode to provide service? are there groups of people that share a shortcode? i cannot afford the $500/month fee.

is there any SMS sandbox that I can play around with?

i already have deployed some various automated voice services that SEND sms by splicing together a phone number's email address (all cellphone numbers have an email address associated with them, so i simply take the callerID from the call and ask the caller for their carrier).

i definitely want to be able to take requests via SMS
posted by k7lim to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You have three choices.

1) SIM Modem - a SIM card in a box, connected to a PC, that responds to the AT command set. You can send SMS and poll the SIM for incoming SMS.

2) An aggregator account. They accept SMS over the internet in XML (for higher volume, there are protocols like SMPP) and route them to their destination, and poll a URL you supply when you have an incoming SMS. I think all aggregators should offer "send only" (cheapest), "send and receive on a regular number" and "send and receive on a short code" (most expensive).

3) An account with a company that builds a bunch of useful services on top of the aggregator (text capture, text2email, voting, etc) and resells them. (Caveat: I work for one of these companies. We have a limited free service you can sign up to and fool around with services on a short code... contact me for more information on that.)

In the US you can also do the free email-to-text thing, but support for that is spotty in other countries. Hmm... Stanford email address. Ok, then our free service isn't appropriate for you (currently UK-only), and I can tell you that getting services approved on US short codes can take months. Avoid and go with a regular phone number unless you have absolutely no choice.
posted by Leon at 2:56 PM on May 15, 2007

I'm curious about the responses to your question.

An alternate idea ... could you have a mobile-only website that people could visit with their phones? I know it's not the same, but it'd be a lot cheaper.
posted by Alt F4 at 3:12 PM on May 15, 2007

Sending text messages in the UK: I use textanywhere and have found them to be very stable. We send thousands of texts a month with this service.

Short codes are expensive though.
posted by seanyboy at 4:04 PM on May 15, 2007

Actually the text inbound service provided by textanywhere is £25.00 a month. That's not too bad.
posted by seanyboy at 4:06 PM on May 15, 2007

Leon, I'd be interested in the services your company provides...
posted by electriccynic at 7:05 AM on May 17, 2007

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