10. Is it easy to
manage your account? Can you easily check the number of credits or
SMS messages left in your account?
SMS gateway providers provide a web-based account management system.
The basic functions of the account management systems provided by
different SMS gateway providers are more or less the same. For
example, most of them allow you to check the number of credits/SMS
messages left in your account and buy new credits/SMS messages
online. The difference is in ease of use. Some SMS gateway providers
offer an account management system that is easy to use and learn. The
user interface is clean and intuitive. The menu items are
well organized. Plenty of hints and tips are available. Some wizards
are provided to guide users through a process step by step. These
features help you work more efficient and make fewer errors.
SMS gateway providers' account management system supports more
features than the others. Here are some examples:
via HTTPS (HTTP + SSL encryption). Some account management
systems are accessible via HTTPS. With an HTTPS connection, the data
transmitted between your computer and the web server over the
Internet is encrypted. So, your data (for example, the user name and
password you entered in the login page) is protected from
locking. Some account management systems allow you to associate
a few IP addresses to your account. Only computers with those IP
addresses can send or receive SMS messages via the SMS gateway
provider. This feature enhances your account's security.
credits/SMS messages alert. Some account management systems will
send a text message to the email address or mobile phone number you
specified when the number of remaining credits/SMS messages in your
account is lower than a certain value.
reports. Some account management systems provide detailed
reports of the SMS messages sent and received. You can request
reports of a certain day or date range. The reports usually include
fields such as the total number of SMS message sent or received, the
date and time that an individual SMS message was sent or received,
and the originating/recipient mobile phone number. Some account
management systems also allow you to download a report as a CSV
(Comma Separated Values) file or Microsoft Excel file, which can be
imported into a spreadsheet program to do things such as generating
charts from the data.
users management. Some account management systems allow you to
add sub users to your account. You and the sub users share the same
account but they use their own user name and password. You, as the
administrator, can view reports of the SMS messages sent and
received by a certain sub user. The ability to add sub users is
particularly useful to large companies where many applications or
staff members need to send or receive SMS messages.
message routing options. Some SMS gateway providers offer
several message routing options that can be set or changed with
their account management system. For example, an SMS gateway
provider might allow you to specify:
to route SMS messages at a certain cost (sometimes you may not want
to allow your staff members to send SMS messages to destinations
that cost too many credits),
to route SMS messages to a certain destination (suppose your
company sets up an SMS messaging system for staff members to
contact clients in the UK, you may want to disable the
sending of SMS messages to other
network to route SMS messages through (do you want to route SMS
messages through more reliable but more expensive networks, or less
reliable but cheaper networks?).
11. Does the SMS
gateway provider provide any free SMS messages for testing?
to say, you must test an SMS gateway thoroughly before you can know
whether it is suitable for your SMS application. As mentioned
earlier, you should test whether you can successfully send SMS
messages to or receive SMS messages from your targeted countries,
mobile operators or mobile phone numbers through the SMS gateway
provider. You should also test the SMS gateway provider's network
will be great if the SMS gateway provider provides some free SMS
messages for testing. However, it won't cost you too much even if you
pay for the testing SMS messages yourself, suppose that the SMS
gateway provider does not require a minimum purchase of, say, 100,000
12. Does your SMS
application require 2-way SMS messaging services?
messaging services can be grouped into two categories: 1-way and
2-way. 1-way SMS messaging services allow you to send SMS messages,
while 2-way SMS messaging services allow you to send and receive SMS
messages. All SMS gateway providers provide 1-way SMS messaging
services. However, only some of them provide 2-way SMS messaging
services. The reason is that it is technically more difficult for an
SMS gateway provider to enable its users to receive SMS messages than
to send SMS messages.
13. How good is the
SMS gateway provider's support service?
good SMS gateway provider should have a support team that has a
complete understanding of its system. The team members should be able
to answer and tackle all sorts of questions and problems. In
particular, they should be familiar with compatibility issues related
to different mobile network operators. The support service's quality
is a reflection of the company's quality. To find out how good an SMS
gateway provider's support service is, one way is to email a question
to the support team. Then ask yourself the following questions:
long does it take for them to reply?
the reply answer your question well?
they familiar with the topic?
some follow-up questions. Do they have patience? Does the reply
answer your question well?
SMS gateway providers provide support service by email. If you prefer
telephone support service, you should choose an SMS gateway provider
that provides a customer support phone number.
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