Cheap SMS gateway service to consider in the UK

In covering cheap SMS gateway providers, there are three (3) major factors that need to be considered namely the cheap cost aspect, the efficient distribution of SMS in volume aspect, and the reliable gateway provision aspect.

Considering all these three factors, a business needs to look at what it requires from an SMS Provider. Cheap in terms of low cost per text message service (SMS) and that may mean compensation for a loss in reliability because the use of hybrid telecommunication carrier(s) from overseas facilities may not be as effective and efficient as premier telecommunication carriers have to offer. The use of SMS providers with less sophisticated API platforms may not have the capacity to easily convert your message into SMS through their gateway system as promptly as expected.  Thirdly, the economies of scale in that the charge for large volumes may be cheaper but the low to medium volumes may cost more per SMS every month.

Deciding on a cheap SMS gateway does very much depend on the gateway used by the bulk SMS provider. Two types of telecommunication carriers bulk SMS gateway providers use. The more expensive gateway is known as the Premium or Tier 1 gateway and uses a telecommunications carrier that comes from British networks.  These companies charge more for the use of their network service but they are more reliable and safer to use.  If there is a need for immediacy, near 100% reliability, ability to move large volumes of SMS at any one time promptly and a good level of privacy, then this must be the right SMS gateway for you.

Alternatively, the cheaper version is a Hybrid or Grey gateway that uses overseas and British telecommunication carriers to do the job of reaching the customer or end user.  It will use the cheapest route available and is good for marketing or promotional campaigns where timing is not an issue and delivery may take up to minutes, hours or possibly a day to reach the recipient’s mobile phone.

Cheap international SMS gateway alternatives

On deciding on engaging a cheap international SMS gateway provider, one needs to consider many elements before venturing into overseas SMS companies. This is not to say that such overseas companies are not good because they happen to offer a cheap rate for their SMS service. It is saying that factors that need to be considered should cover:

  • the speed to which the text message will be sent;
  • the reliability of delivering an SMS at the required time and to the required end-user;
  • the security of the database list of end-users provided;
  • the accessibility of contacting a customer service centre and the global time difference should something need attention or change; and finally
  • the volume of text messaging that will have different rate cards.

Having made you, the reader, aware of all the above factors to be considered there needs to be consideration as to the cheap international gateway provider’s carrier alternatives. There are different types of telecommunication carriers used in overseas gateway services. Some of the international SMS providers may use a telecommunication carrier directly through their gateway service which offers a more reliable and efficient service but at a higher cost per SMS sent.

Alternatively, other global SMS providers may use a cheaper version called a hybrid or grey gateway service to reach customers, clients, stakeholders and employees. This uses various telecommunication carriers from different countries at a cheaper rate but with less assurance that the text message will reach the end mobile user on time, in the same format as was released and with the same level of privacy. The hybrid version is the cheapest route that will be used. If there is no urgency, like promotions, marketing campaigns or providing general information and requiring larger volumes to be distributed, then cheap international SMS gateway providers are possibilities.

Simply summarizing the difference between the direct and hybrid gateways, if there is a need for time-reliant and alert requirements then Direct Gateway is your better option. If sending out large or bulk volumes at any one time for marketing or information campaigns, then hybrid is a cheaper way.

Due to the large number and range of international SMS gateway providers from various countries that are available to service your needs, a list of best value was difficult to assess because of the need to consider the points outlined above rather than on price alone.

Cheap bulk SMS gateway comparison on price

From the range of cheap bulk providers in the UK, a selection of reputable ones was selected because they could offer a range of cheap SMS gateway features that will ensure good distribution, cheap rates and reliability. It was reviewed from a charge per SMS every month that ClickSend and Message Bird offered the best value compared to other reputable British and overseas gateway providers. The graph below summarises the range of fee offers that has been evaluated taking into account the small. medium and large volumes of SMS distributed monthly.

Cheap SMS gateway comparison on reliability

From the perspective of uptime reliability and latency (time), there is a wide range of issues that need to be assessed using the SMS gateway system that are available by each provider. The features that should be considered include:

  • Timeliness of a text message being sent;
  • The content is private and confidential;
  • Being SPAM compliant;
  • Follow privacy and confidentiality regulations e.g. General Data Regulation Regulation (GDPR);
  • The ability for SMS to be returned i.e. two-way communication system;
  • Notification and report of when SMS is delivered; and
  • Reasons for SMS distribution whether it be for urgency sake or non-urgent marketing and promotional campaigns.

On that basis, the graphical representation of several cheap SMS gateway providers is shown below.

It needs to be emphasized that you should always assess value for money based on cost but need to be provided with an uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 99.95% or a money-back guarantee and that all text messages are distributed swiftly and on time and that a reporting system is available for you to scrutinize.

Cheap SMS gateway API

From the analysis and review of numerous reputable and reliable UK cheap SMS gateway APIs, one must understand the need for a sophisticated and valuable API integration system available.  When discussing an API, one is referring to an Application Programming Interface, which is a software intermediary that allows two different applications to communicate with each other in a meaningful way. API is the conduit or messenger that allows your requirement to be made into a communication form that will deliver the text message and be able to reply to you to know that all has gone well. APIs will have a significant impact on your business or your organisation in sending out efficient and effective text messages.

There are expensive and cheap API platforms around and therefore you are encouraged to scrutinize as to which cheap gateway provider will do the job for you. Many of them have flexible integration abilities which will mean that your business will be able to integrate mobile phone messaging seamlessly into the provider’s normal way of operating. In such cases, the API platform can easily integrate into business applications, websites, intranets, CRMs and other software. This means real-time text messaging capacity.

All this information leads to the fact that the reliability of a gateway API will assist in the effective distribution of SMS at any one time in the cheapest way possible. A range of reliable cheap SMS gateway providers was assessed and it was seen from a British business perspective, that SMS Global,  ClickSend and Burst SMS were all rated as very high on the scale of 0 to 100 based on their uptime SLAs, the sophisticated and well-developed APIs, and their easy integration processes with businesses.


About Cheap SMS Gateway Comparison Table and Site

The SMS Gateway Comparison Table and associated Site was developed for your use without any fee or charge. It is presented to you as an independent service to make it easier for you to know better about all the features of UK SMS gateway providers. The authors, who are experts in the SMS field, but no longer are involved in that domain, felt there was a lack of clarity and some difficulty in knowing which SMS providers were good. This is the reason for providing simply presented information to make your life easier.

The comparison table has been produced from the details available on SMS gateway website providers.  Should there be any parts of the information that are different from their sites, please let the authors know so that changes can be made as soon as possible.

As mentioned above, the comparison site and table are free of charge. However should you use the site and then engage one of the gateway SMS providers, then the authors may ask for a commission from the provider.

It is hoped that the information will be valuable to you and your business.


Latest update on 10 March 2024





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