Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions. If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

Signing-up for an account

Will I receive unsolicited messages as a result of using my mobile number to sign-up?

We do not send unsolicited SMS messages or condone the sending of unsolicited SMS messages by our customers. See our Acceptable Use Policy for more details.

Why haven't I received the password and PIN you said would come to my mobile phone?

This could be due to a mistake in the phone number you gave us - please check the number in the email we sent to you after you signed-up for an account. If the number you registered with us is correct and you still haven't received your Password and PIN, please tell us so that we can investigate and resend the message.

Buying message credits

Do I have to use message credits by a certain time? How long before message credits expire?

If you have purchased message credits and don't need to use them straight-away you can relax because we don't expire your unused message credits.

I'm trying to buy message credits but my credit/debit card payment keeps failing. Can I give you the details over the phone?

We've made our online payment system as robust as possible in order to give both you and us the maximum level of security. As long as you input the correct details online to validate who you are, and have credit in your credit/debit card account, the payment should be accepted. We do not currently accept credit/debit card payments over the phone.

I've run out of message credits and urgently need to send messages. Can you temporarily give me some credit?

It's quick and easy to purchase message credits - simply log into your account and enter your credit/debit card details. You might also consider changing the Lower Level Limit in the Contact Information section of your Account Settings so that we send our notification to you sooner.

I ran out of message credits. Will you automatically re-send my failed messages when I buy more message credits?

No. For many of our customers this could result in their users being confused by messages referring to events that had already happened. You will need to resubmit the messages to our SMS gateway for delivery after you have purchased more message credits.

I want to close my account but I still have some message credits left. Can I have a refund?

We do not normally provide a refund for unused message credits. If you wish to close your account and cease to use our bulk SMS services you will forfeit any unused message credits purchased 10 days prior to submitting your service termination request.

Managing contact numbers

I have lots of numbers for my SMS campaigns and services. Can I import and manage them on your website?

Absolutely. Once you create an account on our website you will have access to Contacts Manager where you can upload, sort and edit the contact names and numbers for your SMS campaigns and services.

Mobile network coverage and performance

How do I check that you can deliver messages to my network?

We automatically provide a limited number of free test messages when you sign-up for a trial account. You're welcome to get in touch to discuss your requirements if you need more messages during an initial testing period.

Can you deliver SMS text messages to the ABC network in country XYZ?

We deliver to hundreds of networks across the globe, so the answer is likely to be "Yes". Please check our coverage pages for the country and network you are trying to reach. If you don't have one already, consider signing-up for an account and using the free tests messages to send a test message.

Why when I try to send a message through your system it is rejected. Why?

This usually indicates that the number is invalid. However it's sometimes the case that the number is valid but in a range that has just been released by the mobile network operator. Please create a support request and we will update our routing tables and resend the message.

What are your end-to-end Quality of Service parameters for SMS and the benchmark for each parameter?

This is a very reasonable question but there is some difficulty in giving the type of answer that could reasonably be expected.

The problem is that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) will give absolutely no guarantees about delivery of SMS messages. All our contracts with MNOs offer to use their "best endeavours" to deliver messages and all have several "escape clauses" relating to infrastructure problems and matters beyond their control. The net effect of this is that they, and thus we, give no guarantees at all that any message will be delivered let alone in a timely fashion.

To maximize the chance that messages will be delivered. We use multiple Tier One carriers - i.e. companies like O2, Vodafone and MTN. We also use several high quality aggregators to help us deliver messages into North America, South America, the Middle East, Far East and Africa. These aggregators supplement our own direct connections. We monitor the ability of each route to deliver to each network and dynamically fail-over to an alternative route on a message by message basis. We do not use cheap suppliers of dubious quality to deliver our traffic.

As a result you can expect messages to be delivered anywhere in the world in under 15 seconds - though you will find on a few occasions that it may take 30 seconds or more depending on the state of the MNOs delivery network in the target country.

Sending messages

How do I test the integration of your API into my software without incurring message charges?

We automatically provide a limited number of free test messages when you sign-up for a trial account. Software developers are also welcome to use our free test numbers to check and test message submission without incurring message delivery charges. These are numbers in the range 447700900000 to 447700999999, which have been designated by Ofcom for Drama purposes.

How do I format a mobile phone number when sending messages?

You should use the International Phone Number Format so that the number starts with the country code of the country that you want your messages to be delivered to does not require any spaces or punctuation. Do not include the international dialing prefix which is often 011 (e.g. in the USA), 00 (e.g. in Europe, South America) but is sometimes 001 (e.g. in Japan) or 009 (in Nigeria) etc.

Can I send messages in languages other than English?

Yes, we fully support the Unicode standard so that messages can be sent in any written language. You can send messages from this website, or using any of our products or API's. You must be sending to a handset that is able to display the message in that language. Not all handsets can display all languages for example most European handsets will not display Cyrillic or Farsi characters.

Can I schedule messages for delivery at some future date and time?

When you have composed your message you can either send it straight away of you can delay it using Scheduled Delivery so that the message is sent at a time and date of your choosing.

How do I set the sender ID of the message to my own number or brand name?

The message Originator Address is the 'Sender ID' that is displayed on the phone when the message is delivered. We can support setting this as a default on your account or on a per message basis. See the Originator Address page for more details.

Can I use your SMS gateway to send OTA settings to a phone?

OTA (Over-The-Air) is a technology used to communicate with, download applications to and manage a SIM card without being connected physically to the card. Connection Software provides a complete solution for the management of SIM Cards OTA - see the Send OTA Settings page for more details.

Receiving messages

How can I receive inbound SMS text messages?

We can provision Virtual Mobile Numbers and Short Code Numbers for many countries. You can use these Two-way SMS services to receive incoming SMS text messages from your customers. We will forward the incoming messages to you using one of our Developer APIs or simply by email if you wish. Please contact us to ask about setting up a Two-way SMS service for your campaign or service.

Message delivery reports

I sent a lot of messages and need an offline report. Can you help?

Yes, of course. When logged into your account you can either download a report of all of your messages or you can have them emailed to you (or to the department you want to deal with them).

Why do your Delivery Reports indicate that the message was delivered before it was sent to your server?

Network operators only provide their status times to the nearest minute so if you send a message at 13:10:30 and it is delivered 10 seconds later the delivery receipt will be timed at 13:10:00 and not at 13:10:40 as you would expect. All delivery receipts have 00 in the seconds field. And don't forget that we use UTC (GMT) for all times on the website - this is because we deliver messages from people all over the world and to people all over the world.

I sent lots of messages yesterday; some weren't delivered. Why?

We make it a priority to get the best delivery rates that can be achieved, but some factors are out of our control. Typically messages do not get through because:

  1. The handset number has been recorded wrongly and does not exist.
  2. The phone is switched off or out of range.
  3. The phone's memory is full.
  4. The phone's contract has been terminated.
  5. There is a fault somewhere on the route from our servers to the handset.

Where we can we will investigate and correct any problem that we are able to.

Some handsets were switched off or out of range. Will the messages be delivered when the phone is switched back on?

There isn't a simple universal answer to this. The answer is "probably". When an unsuccessful attempt is made to deliver a message to a handset (switched off, out of range, handset receiving another message at that exact time, etc) the network 'backs off' and tries again after a while. The frequency at which the network retries and how long it does it for varies. The 'validity period' might be as short as one day, often it is three days and sometimes seven days. We want it to be as long as possible but unfortunately those decisions are made by the local network operators.

Short Code Numbers

What is a Short Code?

Normal phone numbers contain between 5 and 14 digits. For example 07700912345 is a mobile number in the UK and 03 9345 1868 is a local number in Sydney Australia. Many countries operate Short Codes, the most common of which are the three digit codes like 911 or 112 which are used to call the local emergency services. Most countries offer Short Codes for other uses. These are typically 4, 5 or 6 digits long. Short Codes make it easy for the consumer to remember the number of a service or organisation. Short Codes are assigned on a country by country basis and it is difficult to have the same Short Code in many countries.

Do I have to use a Short Code Number?

You will need to use a Short Code Number if you wish to charge the recipient. This is called Premium Rate SMS or PRSMS. In this case the recipient can be charged when you send a message to them (MT PRSMS) or can be charged when they send a message to your Short Code (MO PRSMS).

You can charge the recipient anything from a few cents to several Dollars, Euros or whatever the local currency is. The networks will take between 50% and 100% of the fee charged to the end user dependent on the price and the volume of messages. We will take a small percentage, typically 5%, and the rest is yours. See Out-Payments for more details.

You may want to consider using a Short Code Number for the convenience of users who wish to text you. A Short Code is much easier for a person to remember so they are especially useful for publicly advertised campaigns.

What are the differences between dedicated and shared Short Code Numbers?

In short: price and flexibility.

When you lease a dedicated Short Code, the number is allocated to you and you can use it in (almost) any way you wish. If you have a dedicated Short Code we just forward all incoming messages to you. This makes dedicated Short Code Numbers considerably more expensive than shared numbers.

When you lease a shared Short Code then you share that Short Code with other customers and we must use the first word in the message to identify the service. We call that word the "keyword" for that shared Short Code.

For example if your keyword was "GAME" and your Short Code was 8888 then you might advertise "Text GAME followed by your favourite board game to 8888 for a chance to win".

What is an MO billed Short Code?

MO means "Mobile Originated", that is the message originated on the mobile phone and terminated at your Short Code. If you select MO billing then the person with the mobile phone will be charged a premium rate charge for every message they send to your Short Code.

What is an MT billed Short Code?

MT means "Mobile Terminated", that is the message terminated on the mobile phone and originated from your Short Code. If you select MT billing then the person with the mobile phone will be charged a premium rate charge for every message they receive from your Short Code.

What is a Premium Rate?

With Premium Rate SMS (PRSMS) the person owning the mobile handset will be charged a premium (extra charge) for either sending or receiving a message to or from your Short Code. You can charge the recipient anything from a few cents to several Dollars, Euros or whatever the local currency is.

The networks will take between 50% and 100% (yes 100%) of the fee charged to the end user dependent on the price and the volume of messages. We will take a small percentage, typically 5-7%, and the rest is yours. See Zero Rated and Out-Payments below for more details.

What is a Zero Rated Short Code?

This is something of a misnomer. In this case the Premium Rate charge is Zero - meaning that the handset owner will only be charged their normal text messaging charges with no additional "Premium" charge to send or receive messages through your Short Code service.

What is FreeText?

A few countries offer a Short Code which cost the mobile/cell phone user nothing to send or receive a message to a Short Code. Normally they have to pay at least their network's normal SMS messaging charge. Its a bit like an 800 number but applied to SMS.

What kind of content can I deliver or receive using a Short Code?

In principle you can send or receive "anything" including SMS text message notifications and MMS messages containing multimedia content (images, ringtones and videos). However there are a number of things that can stand in the way:

  • Can the phone decode and display the file format. You may be surprised to discover that even phones by the same manufacturer have vastly different capabilities.
  • Does the Network permit you to send files in these formats using the Short Code you have? For example a US Short Code can be configured to EITHER permit Binary or Plain Text messages to T-Mobile phones in the USA. If you want to send both you need two Short Code. This is probably a commercial decision rather than a technical one. US networks are also difficult because of the range of technologies employed which places restrictions.
  • To send binary content such as images, sounds or movies, we use either WAP PUSH or MMS Notifications. These require the phone to have a GPRS or 3G connection to receive the image. Not all phones are set up correctly and this may require the recipient to contact their network operator to get their phone configured.
  • Different operators also restrict the type of content that you can send. For example porn is prohibited to the US and Saudi Arabia. There are many other restrictions which we can advise you about.

We strongly recommend testing your ability to deliver content to a particular phone before sending your Premium Rate content.

In what countries can Connection Software provide Short Codes?

We can provide Short Codes in many countries including North America, Canada, most of Europe, the Middle East, some of the Far East and Australasia.

How long does it take to set up a Short Code?

It does vary from country to country but typically a shared Short Code can be provisioned in about a week and a dedicated Short Code will take about 6 weeks.

What is the minimum contract period for a Short Code?

Typically the minimum contract period is three months for a shared Short Code and six months for a dedicated Short Code.

What are Out-Payments and how much do I receive?

As mentioned above the amount of money you receive for each Premium Rate message that you deliver varies depending on:

  1. The network that the recipient is connected to.
  2. The "price point" that the message is charged at e.g. $5.
  3. The total volume of messages delivered at that price point by you in one month.

Precise details will be provided as part of the agreement prior to signing a contract for the service.

Mobile Messenger

Mobile Messenger says "Message failed due to incorrect login". What am I doing wrong?

The likelihood is that you have configured Mobile Messenger with the wrong login credentials. You need to configure Mobile Messenger with the Username and PIN information that we sent to you. Note that the Username is case sensitive so "TAlan.12345" is not the same as "talan.12345".

If you continue to experience problems, please create a support request and attach the log file, which is usually in C:\Program Files\Connection Software\Mobile Messenger\Log.

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