I had a note from the guys over at InfoBip the other day about their new SMS offering. Called ‘Vanguard’, it provides a direct connection to UK mobile networks with only one SMSC between the sender and the recipient.
‘So what’, I hear you ask. ‘Surely all SMS providers are the same?’ No, they’re not – ask anyone who’s ever been involved in SMS and mention ‘grey routes’ and they’ll usually break out into a cold sweat. Whilst many companies claim to have super-reliable high-speed SS7 connections direct into the heart of the mobile operators networks, that’s often not the case. Your traffic might end up going via India, Russia or the Far East, get clogged up on a overloaded connection somewhere, or might never get there at all. Even worse – you might find your text messages go via a stack of old Nokia’s hotwired into a PC. As the old adage goes, ‘you get what you pay for’.
What sets Vanguard apart from the usual offerings in my mind is this: InfoBip will only charge you for messages that have been successfully delivered – you don’t pay for those that for whatever reason – e.g. an old number that’s no longer in service – fail.
Surely that should always have been the case? When people ask me about this sort of thing I usually compare it to the Royal Mail: you pay for the stamp on your letter assuming it’ll get there. If it comes back ‘return to sender’ for whatever reason, they don’t give you a refund.
Anyway, back to SMS and Vanguard. InfoBip’s CEO Silvio Kutic says: “This connection introduces certain elements which set it apart from other routes in our portfolio, but it also stands out on a bigger scale, hence a name that stands out as well. Not only does this route have superior technical features, its major benefits also include the charging of only delivered messages, which allows significant cost-cutting for our clients, and no monthly commitment, allowing for more flexibility”.
So who are InfoBip? I can vouch that they exist, having met three of their guys in a pub for a quick pint after Global Messaging 2009. Headquartered in Croatia, they’ve got offices in the Isle of Man and Germany too. A quick flick through their website reveals they’ve been around since 2002, so they’re by no means new to this game. Other than that, you’re on your own. However if you do decide to let them pitch for your business, make sure you mention Mobile Industry Review – and perhaps they’ll get the beers in for us next time they visit London.