Clickatell Reduce SMS Prices

clickatell.gifClickatell have reduced their prices by up to 20%. This is great for developers/companies using Clickatell for SMS applications or WAP Push. According to Clickatell, the price reductions are due to…

  • A significant increase in the number of our direct connections to mobile network operators in the last few months
  • Clickatell has streamlined its portfolio of upstream providers to offer you better reliability and redundancy, and an improved range of providers
  • Due to increasing volumes, we have been able to negotiate better prices from our suppliers

Take a look at my freeware SendSMS (JAVA) and ClickSMS (Symbian Series 60) applications which allow you to use Clickatell to send text messages at a fraction of the cost compared to sending via your phone network operator.

Trend: SMS Applications

sms.jpgThis last month, I have received a larger than normal number of enquiries for SMS based applications. People are thinking up some amazing applications. This has made me think more about SMS.

First of all, SMS is ‘easy’ for the user. It’s an established way of communicating and , unlike GPRS/3G, doesn’t require any special set up on the phone.

Secondly, online SMS gateways are becoming more comprehensive. For example, Clickatell now offer 2-way SMS and affordable US shortcodes. Previously, you had to deal with one of the big gateways such as Mobile365 and it got very expensive. According to clickatell…

"Recent changes have taken place in the US marketplace with regard to USA messaging, and it is now requested that all existing SMS traffic, including mobile terminated (MT), alerts and notifications, etc., now be run over dedicated US shortcodes. "

I have also recently come across Wireless Media who provide cost effective and accessible (no account managers to pacify) SMS services including 2-Way, premium and international services.

I have also started implementing more projects, where data volumes are low, using SMS rather than GPRS/3G. It’s much more reliable (is often available when GPRS/3G isn’t) and relies less on the phone being set up correctly.

SMS Mobile Alert

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I have just completed a project of my own. SMS Mobile Alert allows you to create your own information and status SMS alerts. For example, it allows filtered email and scheduled web clips to be sent to your phone via SMS. As it can also detect changes in text files, it might even be used as the basis for sending jobs to remote workers.

Clickatell WAP Push

When you have created your application, the next problem is usually how to get it onto your users’ phones. You can just put the application on a web server and enable the web server to serve the WAP and application types (.sis or .jar). However, this requires the user to enter a WAP URL into their WAP browser which is error prone and will put a large number of people off if they don’t have any incentive to download. A better solution is WAP Push…

WAP Push allows a URL to be sent to the phone as a service indication message. When the user views the message they can download the application. WAP Push service indications can’t be forwarded on by the user so this helps to limit piracy.

I tend to use Clickatell for most SMS based projects. They offer reliable, low cost SMS messaging without having to commit to large numbers of messages.

If you are installing .sis files you may come across the problem where the sis file can’t be subsequently uninstalled. The solution is to point the WAP Push URL to a WAP web page containing a link to download rather than directly to the .SIS file.

I have created a web based front end at smsapp.com for anyone to use. It uploads the application, creates a corresponding WAP WML file and sends a service indication to the given number. Clickatell offer 10 free credits when you sign up. After that, you can purchase additional credits at rates well below those charged by network operators.

Some links if you want to implement WAP push yourself…

Create WAP Push SMS Messages
SMS Messages and the PDU Format
Service Indication Specification