What Is an SMS Aggregator?
SMS aggregators act as a buffer in between wireless carriers and SMS software providers. With approximately 42 wireless carriers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) in the U.S., how does a brand’s text message reach the end-users on all those different wireless providers? SMS aggregators help simplify this process by building and maintaining all of the technical relationships with wireless carriers, and providing one point of contact to each SMS software provider. Through this process, SMS software providers have access to send and receive short code messages on all the wireless carriers with one contract and messaging connection.
Why Do SMS Aggregators Exist?
To answer this question, it’s essential to understand how brands send messages via short codes to their subscribers.
For example, let’s say that Brand A wants to send a text message to subscribers on their text message marketing list. The text message must pass from the SMS software provider to all subscriber mobile devices. With millions of marketing text messages sent every day to millions of subscribers, this process has to be efficient, and SMS aggregators help simplify this process.
Why Don’t Businesses Work Directly With Wireless Carriers?
There are two main reasons why it’s not practical for businesses to work directly with wireless carriers to send text messages.
1. The number of businesses in the U.S.
There are hundreds of thousands of businesses in the U.S. If each business worked directly with the wireless carriers, it would cause a significant amount of work for each wireless carrier. It would require each business to have its own contract with each wireless carrier, and the wireless carriers would have to onboard and support each business individually. The wireless carriers don’t have the infrastructure or resources to provide these services to each business individually.
2. The amount of resources required
The second reason is that most businesses don’t have the infrastructure or resources to work directly with the wireless carriers. If a business were to connect to wireless carriers directly, it would require contracts with over 30 wireless carriers. It would require the business to have the infrastructure and resources to build more than 30 connections.
How Do SMS Aggregators Work?
The process goes like this: First, a brand creates a marketing text message (or SMS message) with a SMS software provider like Tatango. Then, the SMS software provider sends the SMS message to the SMS aggregator. The aggregator then distributes the SMS message to the wireless carriers, who then pass the SMS message on to the recipient as quickly as possible.
When you think about it, it’s pretty incredible that the marketing text message you receive on your phone has passed through all the steps above. The truth is, wireless carriers, SMS aggregators, and SMS software providers all have to work together in order for millions of marketing text messages sent every minute to be received seamlessly by the intended recipients.