FastSMS Review And Bulk SMS Comparison

Initially part of the Netsecrets family in 1997, FastSMS has become one of UK’s premier bulk SMS providers.

View the full FastSMS review where it is compared to other leading SMS companies based on price, features and reliability.

FastSMS LogoFast SMS is a leading UK bulk provider offering:

  • bulk text messaging service in UK for over 15 years
  • a well developed API platform that allows ease of SMS distribution
  • send text messages up to 456 characters long through browser or email
  • well presented pricing schedule that is simple to follow
  • auto-reply to text messages
  • global network coverage enables to send text messages worldwide
  • offers 25 free SMS to try out the distribution system
  • client’s data is hosted in UK data centres for maximum security and performance.

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Who is FastSMS?

This is a reputable bulk text messaging service in UK that has been in operation for over 15 years, with the ability to distribute small, medium and large number of SMS within a short period of time. This bulk SMS provider is ideal for businesses and organisations who wish to communicate a message, or send a reminder or an alert or can be used as a marketing promotion tool for a product or service in a cheap and efficient way.

This independent and unbiased review will provide a general overview of FastSMS covering all important aspects about the provider, including features, pricing, reliability and customer service.

Features Of FastSMS

This bulk text messaging provider has a variety of good features that enable it to send businesses’ and organisations’ SMS within a specified time period required. They possess a browser based platform whereby you can send your email to FastSMS whereby it can convert the information to a format for distribution as a text message readable to computers as well as mobile phone users. It has the capacity to receive replies to the SMS sent out. It is directed to the business online inbox so knowing what the response has been to the message. There is the capacity to send from your Virtual Mobile Number so that your clients, customers or staff only have to do is hit ‘reply’ for you to receive their response.

Through the use of your business customer relationship marketing, known as CRM, your database of contacts can by synchronized into FastSMS platform to make the managing contacts easy so as to build client relationships, customer loyalty and brand recognition. You can also personalize your message and be able to send longer messages exceeding the standard 160 characters by sending text messages up to 456 characters long through your browser, email client or SMS API. There is no limit on the number of users as the provider has the login information, templates and contact lists.

Reports can be generated to gauge how effective the sent message has been received with the added advantage of using keywords for specific users. Forward, reply & subscribe incoming messages can be based on specific message content. This way the business can see how the SMS has been received plus knowing the effect and status of inbound numbers. For reminders, alerts birthdays or appointments, this is an important way of knowing the success of the specific communication intention. Also, SMS can be scheduled to be delivered over a extended set time period.

The power of the above features happens through their well-developed API. The system for distributing a text message is similar to what you would do when writing an email and sending it off. FastSMS states that their developers can integrate all their features into any system and provide you with their API documentation. SMS API accesses features from within the business own application using HTTP, XML or SMTP.

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Pricing of FastSMS

The pricing schedule is well presented on FastSMS website. It outlines the price for each text message in volume distribution. There is no difference in price for small number of SMS sent. For medium numbers and particularly for large volumes of SMS sent, then the price differential becomes significant. It does not clearly state whether the volume is on a monthly basis or longer, and that needs to be investigated.

One standard text message of 160 characters to a UK mobile phone costs one credit. There are no contracts or ongoing commitments. Just top-up your credits when you need to, and the more you buy the cheaper it is. There is no monthly fee or set up cost and the business or client pay for the number of text messages sent and the inbound numbers that are required. The details of charges for keywords on shared shortcode, virtual mobile number and dedicated shortcode are set out with an explanation as to what each inbound number means.

It is good to see that it differentiates the charges between local Bulk SMS distribution and international distribution. This provider has the availability of using international telecommunication carriers and charges accordingly dependent on the type of carrier used, whether it is a premium or a hybrid carrier.

FastSMS Prices

When comparing with other bulk SMS providers, the prices are comparable or lower using Tier 1 delivery routes.

Reliability Of FastSMS

The highest quality Tier-1 UK routes ensures maximum speed and deliverability. With regard to reliability of text messages being delivered to the right person (uptime) within a specified time (latency), there is reference to how reliable the SMS are reached to the recipient and by what time.

All their messages to UK destinations are sent via UK networks using their UK hosted cloud configuration and are backed by an Service Level Agreement (SLA) guaranteed delivery level of 99.9%. The average delivery time per message is less than 10 seconds, depending on receiving network, which makes the system perfect for time critical applications.

The key elements of their SLA are:

  • Minimum uptime of web based FastSMS control panel: 99.9%
  • Minimum uptime of FastSMS gateway: 99.9%
  • Minimum throughput of system: 25 messages per second
  • Average message sent time: 10 seconds
  • Minimum success in message delivery: 99.9%

This is very comparable with a number of other reputable bulk SMS providers which states that they have an Up-time Guarantee of 99% or above or a money back guarantee.

FastSMS does state it will provide real-time delivery reports which can allow the business to retrieve the data of specific users to check usage and message content and the results from specific lists broadcasts.

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Support Service and Security by FastSMS

There appears to be a good range of customer contact opportunities whether it is via phone requesting a call back to discuss with one of their trained specialists needs and requirements. FastSMS states that they are available to discuss issues during extended working hours by using Live Chat.

There is a range of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on their website and SMS blog covering different ways text messaging service can be used. Their Support Centre has developed manuals to assist and their API developers are able to integrate SMS functionality with your own applications.

The offer of 25 free SMS will allow a business to use FastSMS to initially judge the effectiveness of the SMS distribution system.
FastSMS has a data protection policy in place to ensure lawful handling of personal data. There is no mention of having an anti-SPAM policy in place.

 

About the value of SMS

SMS (Short Messaging Service) has become an ideal means of sending and receiving information to a large cross section of people using an IT platform, known as API, to ensure that it reaches individual computers and mobile phones. It has been researched and shown that over 90% of mobile phone users look at their text message within 3 minutes of receiving them. This means that businesses and organisations can be assured of knowing that their communication has been quickly received. Of course, it depends of the SMS provider infrastructure, gateway carriers and IT features available.

About SMS Comparison Table and Associated Site

The SMS Comparison Table and associated site was developed by a group of authors who worked in the SMS area and were considered experts in this field. Now that they have moved into other IT areas, the authors felt that they could provide support and direction through the development of a SMS Comparison site in an unbiased and independent way.

The Table and site is free of charge and has been formulated to make complex issues of the text messaging service easy to follow and to provide the important facts that are required to make a decision. This is important for those businesses or organisations that want to engage a bulk SMS provider.

The information provided is as current as the SMS provided in their website. However should there be some changes in the content that is different, please let the authors know and changes will be made as soon as possible.

The authors hope that their contribution to understanding all about text messaging service will be both helpful and allow you to make the right decision, should you want to engage a bulk SMS provider.

Last updated on 6 March 2019

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