When you need your web application to send SMS (bulk SMS or individual ones) there are basically two approaches: connect a cell phone to the computer that is running your software (your web server) or do it through SMS getaway. There are some people and companies that are still using the first approach, however it looks kind of obsolete: you need to have a cell phone and a contract, the phone should be physically connected to the server (which means that a computer should physically be accessible by you), the connection should be monitored. All morden applications which primary function is not related to SMS sending (SMS sending is just one of the features) are now outsourcing SMS sending connecting to a SMS getaway using their API. There are a few different SMS gateway providers on a market and their pricing policies vary.
I have created this list when trying to find a way to send SMS messages to my web site subscribers and here it is:
Tropo is actually my favorite:
- Developer accounts are free, everything that is required is just a simple registration, no need to talk to sales representatives, send long emails and sign contracts
- For production accounts the prices are 1c for US/Canada SMS and 2c for International ones. No need to buy any packages and make predictions on how many messages you will need.
- BulkSMS is a similar service, but their pricing is different based on a country you are sending SMS from: USA, UK, South Africa, Spain, USA, Germany or International (any other country will be billed in EUR).
- For the US customers Bulk SMS provides with 5 free credits, they work on the prepaid basis, requiring you to buy a package of credits. The more credits you buy, the cheaper is one credit: from 5.3c to 4.55c.
- When sending an SMS, you can select between Economy, Standard and Premium route. With a Standard route 1 credit = 1 SMS, that being about 5c per SMS which is pretty high price compared to Tropo.
- CDYNE also provides a possibility to integrate sending SMS messages into your application in an easy way.
- Their pricing policy is $9.99 flat rate per month + 1c per message which is even cheaper then Tropo if you are going to send messages to outside of US/Canada.
- CDYNE uses post-paid billing, which means that you only pay for what you really used.