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Thread: Cheapest way to send and receive SMS for your Mobile Site or App: Nexmo.com

  1. #1
    Administrator Andres Kello's Avatar
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    Default Cheapest way to send and receive SMS for your Mobile Site or App: Nexmo.com

    Hello Folks,

    I just wanted to share with everyone the absolute cheapest way I've found to send and receive SMS that can be easily tied into your existing mobile sites and apps using a very simple RESTful API.

    Everyone's been talking about and recommending Twilio, which allows you to send and receive SMS in the US for just 1 cent per SMS (sent or received) with pay-as-you-go pricing. They also offer other features such as Phone calls which can prove useful depending on your app or site.

    However, if you only need SMS, I've found and tried one that's even cheaper than Twilio and works just as well. It's called Nexmo and they charge you just $0.007 per SMS you send, which is 30% cheaper than Twilio. On top of that, they do NOT charge you to receive SMS, which is a huge advantage over Twilio. You need to have your own number to send and receive SMS, but it costs less than $1 a month per number.

    The only disadvantage of Nexmo that I could find compared to Twilio is that although both limit you to sending 1 SMS per second per number (in the US), Twilio will queue any messages over that rate and then send them automatically, whereas Nexmo cancels any that are over that rate, which forces you to manage the send rate.

    But at a 30% savings and free-to-receive, it's a no-brainer.

    If this sounds like a sales pitch, that's because it sort of is (even though I have no affiliation with them). I'm using them on Dating.mobi and I want to give them some publicity to ensure they don't go out of business or that will force me to have to switch providers. I can't imagine how low their margins are if they're undercutting Twilio by 30% and allow you to receive SMS for free, so I want to make sure more people find out about them because their service is genuinely awesome and lightning fast. I was always planning on using Zeep Mobile as a free ad-supported SMS solution but they went out of business and I don't want the same thing to happen with Nexmo while all the attention is focused on Twilio.

    Hope this helps anyone looking for a cheap and simple way to integrate SMS services on your site.
    My .mobi's: Dating.mobi | Dubai.mobi | Adult.mobi | Banking.mobi | Student.mobi | Call.mobi | Horoscope.mobi | Messenger.mobi | Classifieds.mobi | LiveTV.mobi

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  2. #2
    Senior Member andymoore's Avatar
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    I would have got excited over that link thanks but when you look at their delivery success it feels low to me, they only have 441 numbers and no 447 (like Twilio), no toll-free / freephone numbers and you can't have someone in the US text your UK number or the other way around which is a bit of a bummer.

    Mix that with the fact they don't do voice and I'll stick with Twilio, whilst I might be paying more I'm getting from it so personally I feel I get great value.

    Neither are viable as high level commercial SMS gateways due to the limits of a message a second but both seem perfect for simple SMS interactions on your site or app.Either way it's good for us end users as we now have more messaging options than ever before!

    Cheers

    (good to see you're still alive)
    Andy Moore
    i don't do tech / mobi anymore - why do something that annoys and stresses lol

    New: Most Minty Tooth Oil - GMO and fluoride free toothpaste alternative

    100% natural botanical extracts to whiten teeth, freshen breath and strengthen gums
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    My other websites:

    http://sellyoursongs.info/ - Sell Your Songs using Mobile Payments
    http://detectmobilebrowsers.mobi/ - Detect Mobile Browsers
    http://andymoore.info/m-commerce-php/ - M-Commerce PHP (sell stuff on the mobile web)
    http://locationdetection.mobi/ - Detect a mobile browser's latitude & longitude
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  3. #3
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    Thumbs up More clarifications on Nexmo, the wholesale SMS API

    There is no doubt Twilio and Nexmo are different. I would like to address Andy points one by one. I work for Nexmo, so my answers are obviously biased, but I hope I can give more clarifications.

    a) Delivery Ratios: Nexmo provides two KPIs:
    1. DLR Ratio, which tells you how good the route is behaving. It is like a route ping and calculates the % of SMS to which it receives a status. This being delivered, failed, expired, barred number, wrong number, etc....This is the KPI used to judge the quality of the service.
    2. Success Ratio: Measures how many SMS were delivered to handset when the carrier support handset delivery confirmation. This varies a lot by the nature of traffic being sent and will always be below the DLR Ratio by nature. For instance, if the client is sending a marketing campaign with a lot of wrong numbers, fixed lines, non active numbers, absent subs, then this ratio will be low. If user is sending a password confirmation, than this ratio will be high. Nexmo displays an average across type of traffic.
    b) Toll Free: This is valid for voice, for SMS, the user still pays if sending to Toll Free. So as a SMS only API, it does not make sense to offer TF.
    c) US text your UK number: Due to the complexity of roaming agreement among carriers, it will be lucky that this will work with both Twilio and Nexmo. Have you tried it? I believe both API uses the same type of residential numbers in the UK. if it works with Twilio, it will work with Nexmo. And it is free to receive with Nexmo.
    d) L
    imits of a message a second: That applies only in the US whereas carriers restrict the 1 sms per second when using a long number to send SMS. But since Nexmo is global and can deliver to all countries, and all phones, then outside North America this limit does not exist. It is very common to have customers at Nexmo sending over 500k SMS per day with no issues. Especially resellers and aggregators that rely on Nexmo to transact their traffic.

    More questions? Would love to help!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Senior Member andymoore's Avatar
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    That is stunningly impressive support. I am seriously impressed with both you finding the post, understanding every point and answering each one clearly, thank you.

    The explanation of those figures makes perfect sense but including duff numbers that get rejected from the start doesn't and brings the figures down as I understand it, say for example I send a message to a stupid number that's my fault for being a dick not yours as a service provider so you shouldn't mark yourself down for my error if you see what I mean.

    I'm pretty sure I've had texts on my Twilio number that originated outside the UK, I could be wrong and totally get your point about toll-free, not really right to include an apple in a pear judging competition so to speak!

    Ok, now I'm impressed with your support and pricing, if I evangelise about you, as Andres has done above is there anything in it for us? For example he's passing you leads here, I could write platforms for clients around your platform, what do we get except a glowing good feeling?



    Also, what about 07 virtual mobile numbers as I still feel most folks look at what appears to be a conventional landline and they don't automatically think they can text it. I know for outbound stuff it's no problem but on inbound keyword campaigns they see a normal number and think "eh will that work" I reckon.

    Finally, can we white label and set pricing ourselves? And I mean easily without having to write several thousand lines of code to emulate your site.....

    Thanks
    Andy Moore
    i don't do tech / mobi anymore - why do something that annoys and stresses lol

    New: Most Minty Tooth Oil - GMO and fluoride free toothpaste alternative

    100% natural botanical extracts to whiten teeth, freshen breath and strengthen gums
    Used, recommended and sold by Harley Street private dentists

    My other websites:

    http://sellyoursongs.info/ - Sell Your Songs using Mobile Payments
    http://detectmobilebrowsers.mobi/ - Detect Mobile Browsers
    http://andymoore.info/m-commerce-php/ - M-Commerce PHP (sell stuff on the mobile web)
    http://locationdetection.mobi/ - Detect a mobile browser's latitude & longitude
    http://andymoore.info/mysql-lyrics-database/ - Half a million lyrics


  5. #5
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    Default Getting started with Nexmo

    Agree with your opinion on what we should display and not. But the guys here at Nexmo are obsessed with transparency and prefers to set expectations low. I've asked them to add more info on how to interpret these ratios.


    RE US texting UK, you were pretty lucky here. These residential lines belong to BT in the UK, and it depends on the roaming agreement BT has with the rest of the world and the US. That is why we prefer to set expectations low and when we have access to the roaming list, we publish it. As we do with our Sweden numbers. UK Mobile 07 ranges are coming soon to address the valid poing you raised!


    RE whitelabeling, there are few APIs that will help get your resell platform up and running. For example:


    a) Get Pricing API: To absorve the Nexmo pricing and set a cost plus model on your end and don't worry much about price fluctuation, you just pass it down either increase or decrease.
    b) Get Balance API: Helps you to monitor your Nexmo balance in real time
    c) Numbers APIs: You can order numbers in real time, search for specific pattern or cancel them. It is like just-in-time process.
    d) Search Messages API: Let you search the status of the message from our cloud, and reproduce our Tools dashboard


    What is still missing is the ability to register a user, like an OAuth process and sub account management. We have few core Nexmo developers building such a whitelabel process. If you can contact our helpdesk, I can put you in touch with them so that you can collaborate on this project.


    Thanks for the great feedback!

  6. #6
    Senior Member andymoore's Avatar
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    Much respect for the open attitude, we need more of that in this world, especially from Governments but that's a different story....

    Under sell and over deliver is far better than to over sell and under deliver!

    I've just been inspired to write a tiny little Nexmo application that handles keywords and auto replies for people, I took the time to write it up and share it here: http://andymoore.info/my-first-nexmo-sms-script/



    That is a simple PHP script that will handle three keywords for a user, it should be as easy to use as signing up to to your site was, as for getting a number assigned my honest reaction was f*** me, that was easy. I bagged a great number too for pennies that you gave me, how very cool. Thank you.

    @Andres, great find Sir.
    Andy Moore
    i don't do tech / mobi anymore - why do something that annoys and stresses lol

    New: Most Minty Tooth Oil - GMO and fluoride free toothpaste alternative

    100% natural botanical extracts to whiten teeth, freshen breath and strengthen gums
    Used, recommended and sold by Harley Street private dentists

    My other websites:

    http://sellyoursongs.info/ - Sell Your Songs using Mobile Payments
    http://detectmobilebrowsers.mobi/ - Detect Mobile Browsers
    http://andymoore.info/m-commerce-php/ - M-Commerce PHP (sell stuff on the mobile web)
    http://locationdetection.mobi/ - Detect a mobile browser's latitude & longitude
    http://andymoore.info/mysql-lyrics-database/ - Half a million lyrics


  7. #7
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    Default Get it on the Nexmo blog?

    Andy that is pretty amazing!

    Would you care about a guest blog entry on the Nexmo blog? We could announce your simple auto-responder lib

    Also, I think it would be very helpful for other developers that are not as expert as you in SMS, to get that code from Nexmo Github account.

    Also, will you be in London in June? I am usually based in the US, but will be spending 1 month in Nexmo London office in June and would love to meet. We are looking for Nexmo "Ambassadors" in each country, happy to elaborate more in person or by email.

  8. #8
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    And Oh, now we added a small explanation on the ratios we measure on the Quality Of Delivery pages.

    Let me know feedback!

  9. #9
    Senior Member andymoore's Avatar
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    Sure, would love to thanks.

    I'm happy to play with that code a little more, make it jump another hoop or two and let you guys use it in your Github.

    Not sure about London, I tend to stay away from the place.

    That new color formatting on the table with the deliver results makes a lot more sense visually now, much cooler.

    Feel free to get in touch via my desk.com suite, it's better than email: "nexmo @ developing.mobi"

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Administrator Andres Kello's Avatar
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    I'm very glad to see this productive exchange!

    Tony, Andy is not easy to please and you guys have managed that, so well done. I'm also glad to see you're an old Mobility member as it's always interesting to see how all of ours paths change so quickly in this vibrant industry.

    Andy, glad to help as always, mate. When Zeep Mobile went out of business, they themselves recommended Twilio as an alternative. I knew there had to be something even more competitively priced, and found Nexmo. I gave them a quick try and was instantly hooked with their fast setup, ease of use, speed of delivery, and prices as you yourself have noted.

    At any rate, I'm always happy to share an excellent service I personally use and look forward to seeing what you guys come up with.
    My .mobi's: Dating.mobi | Dubai.mobi | Adult.mobi | Banking.mobi | Student.mobi | Call.mobi | Horoscope.mobi | Messenger.mobi | Classifieds.mobi | LiveTV.mobi

    Developed: Yup.mobi | Mobility
    | Why .mobi? | Banking | Vuelos | Airline Complaints | Random Site | Whois | Free Mobile Dating | Free Dictionary | Free Thesaurus | Horoscope | Astrology | Free Translation | Exchange Rates


  11. #11
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    Default UK Mobile Numbers for inbound SMS are live with Nexmo

    Hi guys,

    Here is a follow-up on your request. UK Mobile Numbers (07xxx) are now available from Nexmo at 0.5 EUR per month.

    Enjoy

  12. #12
    Senior Member andymoore's Avatar
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    Awesome, thanks for the update, I just bagged 447937985888 for half a Euro!

    It took minimum clicks, no more than several seconds; years back you'd be looking at weeks to get setup and loads of silly fees.

    Love it - just got broadband issues so I can't play with it like I'd wish.....

    Thanks again, brilliant service, amazing prices.....

  13. #13
    Senior Member andymoore's Avatar
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    And to sort that in less than a month is spectacular!


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    Informative suggestion...

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