SMS Gateway UK Comparison

SMS gateway UK providers may seem the same but have large variations when it comes to their capabilities.

The comparison table updated the 8th of July 2018 compares UK text message gateway providers factoring latency, features, reliability, and more!

SMS Gateway Icon


  • Pricing
  • Message Sending From
  • No Contract
  • Setup Fee
  • Monthly Fee
  • Payment Modes
  • Features
  • Developer API
  • Web SMS Platform
  • Email to SMS
  • Two-way SMS
  • Carriers
  • Direct/Hybrid Carriers
  • Reliability
  • Uptime Guarantee
  • Spam Compliance
  • Monitoring
  • Security Policy
  • Dedicated virtual no.
  • Customer Support
  • Phone Number
  • Email contact
  • Live Chat
  • Free Trial
  • Real time reporting
  • Location
  • Range of Clients
  • Location base
  • Bulk SMS Logo
  • SME/Large
  • £0.028/SMS
  • Tick 
  • Tick 
  • Tick 
  • Prepayment & Invoice
  • Tick 
  • Tick 
  • Tick 
  • Tick 
  • Global
  • Both
  • 99.99%
  • £6.00p.m.
  • +44 845 301 6857
  • Bulk SMS Clients
  • Crawley, United Kingdom

  • 531 Reviews
  • ClickSend
  • SME/Large
  • £0.0179/SMS
  • Prepayment & Invoice
  • Global
  • Direct
  • 100%
  • £2.88/month
  • 0118 Number 24/7
  • Perth

  • 4 Reviews
  • sms global
  • Large companies
  • N/A
  • Prepayment & Invoice
  • Global
  • Both
  • 99.99%
  • 0808 Number
  • Melbourne

  • 9 Reviews
  • clickatell
  • Large companies
  • £0.03 SMS
  • Prepayment
  • Local
  • Both
  • 99.90%
  • 1300 Number
  • 14 days
  • Not Available

  • 18 Reviews
  • sms solution UK
  • SME/Large companies
  • $0.06/SMS
  • Prepayment
  • Local
  • Not Specified
  • 99.99%
  • 1800 Number 24/7
  • Overseas & Melbourne

  • 2 Reviews

The Best Value SMS Gateway UK Provider Is BulkSMS.com

BulkSMS.com is recommended for those looking for a UK SMS Gateway provider based on their:

  • Low text message packages
  • Not for profit pricing from 3.5p
  • No contracts or text message expiry
  • GDPR compliant with detailed guides
  • 540 reviews with an average rating of 8/10
  • Global presence in 200+ countries
  • Support 5.30 am to 10.00 pm GMT, Mon to Fri,

Text Message UK Gateway Pricing of BulkSMS.com

Below shows the 2018 pricing for BulkSMS.com with no hidden fees or contracts applicable. The only additional cost for some UK firms is £6 for incoming long numbers often used for marketing purposes.

BulkSMS UK SMS Gateway Pricing 2018

It should be noted that there are cheaper SMS Gateway UK prices for high volume requirements (50,000+ messages). It’s worth going to their site and requesting a quote for UK messages to get a tailored quote to meet your requirements. There is a money back guarantee on all pricing points with refunds offered for unused credits if a client if unhappy with the service provided.

BulkSMS.com SMS Gateway UK Features

The BulkSMS text message gateway utilises JSON for request which is recommended for most API integration. JSON deals with long message various languages and allows webhooks allowing text messages to be received back to your web server and publishes status reports.

The five other top SMS gateway features are:

  1. Local and International 2-way messaging
  2. Delivery (status) reports
  3. Custom sender ID
  4. Unicode character set functionality
  5. Long message availability

A unique feature of BulkSMS.com is their Marketo and ClickDimensions integration. This offers two-way text message communications directly with ClickDimensions and Marketo allowing recipients to reply to messages. Replies go to the CRM directly allowing for workflow actions. The key benefits is the ability to send messages to large custom groups, improved reporting and Salesforce functionality.

SMS Gateway Integration

Reviews Of BulkSMS.com

As a global text message provider, Bulksms.com has a plethora of reviews. These include 540 reviews as of the 08/07/2018 with an average score of 8.0/10 reviews. The key to their positive reviews is their ease of use, the fact they don’t lock customers into contracts, reliability (99.9% up-time guarantee) and no credit expiry. It’s a combination of these factors that other lead to poor reviews that is why BulkSMS has mostly positive reviews.

Bulk SMS Reviews

Customer Service Offered By BulkSMS.com

BulkSMS offers both e-mail and phone support from their call centre. The hours support is offered is Monday to Friday, 5:30am to 10:00pm GMT. The local UK number is +44 845 301 6857 or the team can be e-mailed at support@bulksms.com

Further after hours support is available via e-mail on the weekends. Some bank holidays will not apply and response times may exceed the times provided during regular business hours. BulkSMS.com recommends joining the technical notification list to be notified of any outages or changes. There is also a coverage change notification e-mail list to be notified of changes to pricing which can occur for international numbers.

The full trading details for BulkSMS.com in the UK is Celerity Messaging UK LTD
Company Registration Number: 6356781
VAT number: 930182548

BulkSMS Website

Skip ahead

What Is An SMS Gateway?

An SMS gateway allows a CRM, computer or e-mail to send and receive text messages through telecommunication network providers. Messages are routed through Short Message Services (SMS) mobile networks such as Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone. Most SMS Gateways support various SMS formats.

Applications of an SMS Gateway include:

  • Web SMS with contacts uploaded without software
  • E-mail SMS integrating SMS with e-mail programs
  • API SMS Services utilising CRM software

Within UK, text message gateways will either directly route to the major providers such as Optus, Telstra, Vodafone or aggregators. This will impact the speed and prices of text messages sent.

It should be noted that short message service (SMS) also known as a “text message” has a limit of 160 characters when send to another device. This means that messages exceeding this character limit will be split into multiple parts which may lead to higher sending charges.

What British Regulation Should I Consider?

When sending any text message campaign within UK, you must meet the Data Protection Act (2013).  Within UK the law states that no company can send legally unsolicited electronic messages. This applies to text messages through gateway with any message requiring:

  1. Consent – The receiver must have provided consent to receive text messages or be an existing customer who has an existing business relationship
  2. Identify – All text messages need to identify what business they came from
  3. Unsubscribe – There needs to be functionality to unsubscribe from future business SMS correspondence (2 way SMS). A company needs to ensure any such request is processed within five days.

From a compliance aspect, the SMS provider needs to feature a strong privacy policy, be SPAM compliant, have extensive terms and conditions and clear acceptable use policy. To learn more about direct marketing compliance you can view the UK direct marketing website created by the commonwealth.

Tips For Sending Business SMS Messages

Research has shown that short text messages perform the best. While 160 characters can exist within a text message, short and sharp messages that don’t require scrolling receive the optimal open rates and engagement. Try to only provide a single message, whether a greeting, reminder, offer or referral.

A mobile is personal so understand an individual’s personal space. Unexpected bulk SMS messages can be intrusive so ensure they are functional and courteous but not too familiar. Customisation tools can help maximise relevance but there is always a line an advertiser shouldn’t cross. Also, understand when the recipient will receive the text and reliability of the gateway. Nobody wants to receive a text at midnight!

Don’t over-use the bulk SMS marketing channel – Infrequent and brief messaged from businesses will ensure that users don’t unsubscribe from the communication. Use other channels such as e-mails to regularly update e-mails but avoid text messages for such communications.

Make sure you have a legitimate reason to send SMS messages – Ensure every message passes on useful information, acts as a reminder or clarifies an arrangement. As long as it has a legitimate use to an individual they will be happy to receive more text messages in the future.

Using A Premium SMS Provider

If your business send SMS messages to customers, clients, stakeholders or staff, then a premium direct gateway carrier is for you. Your message will be delivered directly to major text message service providers (such as Telstra & Optus). A text message gateway allows a computer to distribute or accept business SMS marketing transmissions to or from a telecommunications network. Most messages are usually routed into the mobile phone networks. ClickSend is one such example of an SMS gateway provider using a direct carrier.SMS API Text Message Gateway

Need for a reliant premium SMS text message gateway provider when:

  • Time reliant SMS
  • SMS alerts
  • SMS where content is highly private
  • Return messages from your customers are highly important
  • Marketing and communication campaigns
  • Reminders for appointments and delivering of a particular service

SMS Gateway UK Flow Diagram

What is an SMPP Gateway?

An SMPP stands for a Short Message Peer to Peer Protocol. The SMPP gateway protocol is used within the telecommunication industry that exchanges SMS services between Short Messaging Entities (ESME) or Short Message Service Centers (SMSC). As a level-7 TCP/IP protocol is ensures speedy SMS message delivery. The SMPP can receive and send messages from mobiles including CDMA, UTMTS, GMA and UMTS phones.

How Can An British Business Integrate An SMS API?

Utilising an API is common practice by British businesses that have large-scale text message requirements. Developers connect to the SMS gateway through their preferred API from SMPP, Java, .NET, PHP or SOAP. Most providers will support SDKs through sample cost, documents and reusable libraries. Make sure the provider you choose has support levels that match your understanding of an SMS API as you may need a hands-on provider.

When setting up your API, the British SMS provider will provide you with sample code. This will allow you to connect to a SOAP API regardless of SMS API language you prefer. A provider like MessageMedia has samples o Java, GitHub in C3, Bash & Python as well as PHP. Other languages such as C++, Ruby and Powershell can also be utilised. Just talk to their support team when you first join and talk to their specialist SMS API technical support software person.

What Are The Benefits Of An SMS API Integration To A Text Message Platform?

API integration is so popular because:

  • Two-Way Messaging: The ability to send messages to the major British SMS networks and receive replies from the users.  
  • Message Tagging: A two-way SMS feature that reports on the exact application that an outbound message reply corresponds to.
  • Delivery Reporting: Track your text messages exact time they are received to handsets providing you a full delivery audit-trail.
  • Validity Period: Specify just how long a text message should be valid for so after this time, if the SMS has not been delivered it doesn’t get delivered.
  • API Web Push: Get real-time delivery of inbound text messages to a URL for quick replies of staff, customers unlike polling that can take time to validate

SMS Gateway Frequently Asked Questions

An API allows simply query parameters via URLs that provide SMS gateway instructions to send text messages. This can be enabled through scripting language such as PHP that can be integrated to web forms and other applications.

SMS is abbreviated for short message service. It’s a communication method that allows mobile phone to communicate with each other. An SMS gateway also allows computers and e-mail to also send and receive text messages making it suitable for businesses.

An text message gateway acts as a relay. It translates from one protocol to another through SMSCs (SMS centres). These SMS centres includes wireless networks that handle forwarding, routing store and other SMS operations ensuring the messages are delivered to the destination mobile phone.

SMS integration is when businesses use their existing database or CRM to target their customers through an SMS Gateway. This can include targeting customers with promotions, news and other information. This integration can use automation to communicate with customers at various forms of the consume life cycle.

SMS means short message service while MMS means Multimedia Messaging Service. This is the next level of a text message allowing video, audio and picture content to be send to a mobile device. Sending an MMS can lead to a premium price depending on the SMS gateway used.

E-mail security gateways have gained popularity as they monitor the e-mails that are processed to be send to mobile devices. They can assist in preventing unwanted content from been delivered that can be caused by phishing attacks, SPAM and malware.

This depends on the regulation of the country you operate in and your provider. Most countries require providers to have an opt-out functionality and ways to contact the SMS sender. Ensure you meet these requirements to remain compliant.

 

 

Opportunities of a Free Trial to test SMS Gateway UK providers

One of the values of assessing the functionality, reliability and efficiency of the SMS Gateway UK providers is by testing them through the offers of using their free trial period or the provision of a range of SMS that are allocated to test their service. It can vary from free 5 SMS to 25 SMS dependent on the providers offer. In the case of the five selected Gateway providers, Message Bird does not offer such offer and Nexmo will charge two (2) Euro. ClickSend, SMS Global, Burst SMS and SMS Solutions all offer a free trial based either on number of text messages or a period of time.

Integrate SMS by SMS Gateway UK providers

The use of flexible SMS API, Gateway providers can integrate SMS services into their own system and application for better functionality required by the client.  New SMS integrations can often added later on. Many SMS Gateway UK providers as reviewed in this site have API that can send more than 100 messages at any one time with the right type of application. For example, one is able to check the balance, delivery status of a single or group SMS without the need to login to the web interface. The official Microsoft ASP.NET Site is available for PHP, Ruby and .NET.There is no concern about shared resources since these providers have dedicated SMS API servers, thus allowing text messages and responses to be distributed efficiently and reliably. A number of these providers have quick integrations, connected with applications such as MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Campaign Monitor and Zapier.

SMS Gateway UK Services on offer

SMS Gateway UK is essentially an online platform that provides a client with the means to send mass text messages within seconds of the command to send. It acts as a conduit between the user and the telecommunication network so that a reliable service is provided. There is premier and hybrid telecommunication services, the latter being cheaper overseas providers which can be not as efficient as those within UK. Many of the Gateway UK providers like ClickSend, use national dependable carriers such as BT, O2 and EE with an up-time of 99.9% or better with many having a 100% money back reliability guarantee. In most cases, British SMS Gateway providers have customer care centres in UK to respond quickly to any concerns or information need for distribution of text messages. They provide an SMS service to engage with customers as well as measure and track campaign performance.

About This Text Message Gateway UK comparison

Our comparison was completed in July 2018. The table above shows the final five providers while other providers were considered such as SMS GlobalNexmo, MessageBird, Intelli SMS and SMS Broadcast. The information was all sourced from the web SMS provider’s websites with correspondence only made at time to verify information published. As this information came from the websites with no automation used it’s recommended that you verify the data shown on this site within the providers website. This can verify your decision when selecting the UK SMS Gateway provider that’s right for you. You can view why SMS in the UK is one of the most effective communication channels through our 2018 statistics including infographics.

About SMS Comparison

SMS Comparison is available free of charge to all users interested in comparing different SMS providers for value, pricing, features, APIs, reliability and customer service.

It was established four years ago as a result of demand from businesses who wanted an easy to follow analysis of the effectiveness of efficiency of SMS providers, whether they are Bulk, Gateway, Marketing or Email to SMS providers.

The Comparison Table and associated sites are developed by a group of experts in the SMS field who no longer work in that particular area and feel they can provide an independent and unbiased review of SMS providers in UK.

However, SMS providers can change the information on their sites without any notifications, so during your review, should you find any different information to what was provided in this site, please let the authors know so that any changes can be made.

The authors aim is ensure you are provided with an unbiased, fair and reasonable overview of some of the major UK bulk SMS providers for your decision making process.

UK Business SMS Gateway Comparison Table

Compare Text Message Gateway Provides Designed For British Businesses.

Rating: 4.2
Reviewed by Alain Grossbard

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