[VoiceOps] SMS gateway API.

John Todd jtodd at loligo.com
Sun Aug 9 20:33:05 EDT 2009

Alex -
   Clickatell will do this for you, as has been described in other  
replies to this thread.  However, last time I used them you were  
required to get a short code, which was an expensive and paperwork- 
laden process.  Previously, it was possible to get an E.164 number  
that was SMS enabled from them, but only in Europe.  Rumors from last  
week have them handing out E.164 numbers in North America with that  
capability.  I've yet to investigate (and after a bit of clicking  
around I find it appears I'm still right, and they have no North  
American capability.  I'm pleased to be proven wrong if anyone has  
contradictory information.)  You can send messages on their "testing"  
shortcode in North America, but they didn't guarantee delivery and  
your messages came from the same shortcode as a zillion other trash  
messages, and replies by endpoints to your message were impossible.   
Ugly, ugly solution without coughing up money for a shortcode, and the  
politics behind shortcodes makes it almost certainly a non-starter for  

   Level3 in conjunction with Syniverse were allowing SIP delivery of  
E.164 numbers that included bi-directional SMS capability, but the use  
of those numbers as "gateway" numbers with high volumes of traffic is/ 
was an unknown.  There were reasonably high minimums for this contract  
modification unless you had a previous L3 DID contract.

   Delivery via Bluetooth or USB serial is an option for very low  
volumes, but is a hack for anything but the smallest implementations.   
"Does Not Scale".  Plus, you're then vulnerable to the various outages/ 
billing issues/contractual spite that carriers apply to their retail  
customers.  If you're really hot for this method, then I'd suggest  
some devices that talk IP on on side instead of device driver nonsense  
- take a look at the PorTech MV-370 single-port SMS<->SIP gateway  
devices, though you'd have to write your own little protocol shim for  
them since I don't think it's "native" SIP or SMPP if I recall from  
the last time I looked at the documentation.  Search eBay for the  
PorTech devices, or just type in "SIM GSM" into the search string -  
lots show up.

   I'm interested in hearing if anyone has been able to get a decent  
service provider up and running who supports selling a DID that  
originates SIP VoIP _and_ will handle bi-directional SMS via some  
other protocol to the same E.164 address, with minimum quantity 1 for  
service provisioning preferably with credit card or PayPal.  I'm  
looking for North America, but other locations would be interesting,  
too.  Having the ability to port a number (mobile of fixed-line) to  
the service would cause me to swoon with joy.

This has been discussed before:


On Aug 7, 2009, at 9:03 PM, Alex Balashov wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> Sorry if this is a little off-topic, but I thought I would tap the
> enormous collective wealth of knowledge here.
> I come from the fixed-line world, so I don't know terribly much  
> about SMS
> or mobile anything.
> I have a situation where I need an endpoint to receive a fairly large
> amount of SMS messages in something close to real-time and then be  
> able to
> automatically do something with them as part of a backoffice  
> process, and
> need to set up something rather quickly.
> For example, an SMS message comes into some sort of device or  
> service, and
> this triggers a RESTful HTTP call (or SOAP, or whatever) to some agent
> that does something with that data.
> Speed is of the essence;  this rules out most SMS-to-email gateways
> because it usually takes at least several minutes to receive the e- 
> mail.
> In this case, that won't work; the delay is just too long.
> Likewise, vertically integrated SMS gateway services that provide some
> sort of interactive online "chat" window with an interface into an SMS
> conversation won't do.  This needs to be development-friendly;  I  
> need to
> be able to write some code to do something with the contents of that
> message post haste.  The other thing is, vendors providing those  
> products
> and services in this category charge a fair bit per text message,  
> which
> isn't going to fly in this case because there may be a dozen text  
> messages
> per minute or more, occasionally.  Something flat-rate would be  
> desirable,
> even if it's expensive (say, a few hundred dollars a month).
> Lastly, I don't know if it's possible to get any kind of access  
> circuit in
> North America over which SMS messages can be received, but even if it
> were, that's not really an option in this case due to time  
> constraints.
> Likewise, setting up a GSM or CDMA receiver device registered on a  
> cell
> network - legitimately or otherwise - is out too, for similar reasons.
> What it really comes down to is that I need a fast SMS data relay  
> service
> that handle a relatively high-volume at relatively little expense,  
> and one
> which can provide that data via some sort of HTTP or XML-RPC or SOAP  
> type
> API callback so that the data can be plumbed to an agent on my side  
> for
> further processing.
> I have no idea if something like this exists, or if that's  
> tantamount to a
> request for magic.  That's why I'm inquiring.
> Thanks!
> -- 
> Alex Balashov
> Evariste Systems
> Web    : http://www.evaristesys.com/
> Tel    : (+1) (678) 954-0670
> Direct : (+1) (678) 954-0671
> Mobile : (+1) (678) 237-177

More information about the VoiceOps mailing list