What Is an SMS or Text Message Gateway?

Published on July 27, 2017

SMS Gateway Basics

There are a lot of different mobile networks out there, and they all have different ways of communicating over the airwaves. This can make it really tricky to send mass texts to large groups of SMS subscribers who might be spread out all across those networks.

Fortunately, there’s a way to solve this pesky problem of mobile carrier incompatibility: by using an SMS gateway.

"An SMS gateway is like a translator that’s fluent in all the mobile carrier languages—and it speaks your application’s language, too."

What is an SMS Gateway?

An SMS gateway or text message gateway is a device that allows for efficient communication between mobile networks and short message service (SMS) applications such as SimpleTexting.

A translator for SMS applications

You can think of an SMS gateway as a translator that’s fluent in all the mobile carrier languages—and it speaks your application’s language, too.

A text message polyglot, if you will. 🙂

There are various scenarios where you might come across an SMS gateway. Let’s talk about the one you’ll most commonly see with applications like SimpleTexting.

Mobile carrier SMSCs

So, mobile carriers handle all the necessary processes of SMS messaging—e.g., routing, forwarding, and storing messages—inside Short Message Service Centers, or SMSCs.

Each mobile carrier typically builds a proprietary SMSC that isn’t compatible with any other SMSC.

Say you’re developing a web app to send bulk SMS messages. At some point, you’ll run into a fairly complex communication problem involving multiple mobile carriers and all of their incompatible SMSCs. It’s a big-time language barrier.

Without an SMS or text message gateway, your application would need to know how to talk to a bunch of different carrier services using a bunch of different languages and protocols.

With a gateway, however, your application only needs to talk to a single service—the gateway itself, which resolves the application-carrier conflict by taking orders from your app and translating them into all of the different dialects of SMSCspeak.

SMS Gateway Benefits

Faster development

With an SMS or text message gateway in place, you can build your SMS application a whole lot faster because you don’t have to worry about ensuring compatibility with all those carriers. Just line it up with the gateway and let it go.

Reduced complexity

Since compatibility isn’t necessary, you’ll also be able to keep your application a whole lot simpler.

Reduced costs

Finally, an SMS gateway saves you money that would have gone down the drain during initial development—as well as during any updates needed as a result of carrier changes.

SMS Gateway Features

Anytime someone uses SimpleTexting’s web or mobile application to send a mass text campaign, they’re sending it through an SMS gateway, whether they realize it or not.

The same holds true, of course, for customers who use SimpleTexting’s API with their own applications.

The point is, these customers have a lot riding on their mass text messages. So it makes sense that an SMS gateway would need to work consistently and quickly.

With that in mind, here are a few things to look for in a good SMS gateway:

High system security

High throughput

Minimal downtime

Easy integration with other systems

Diligent monitoring and reporting


Great customer support

With SimpleTexting, you can rest assured that your mass texts are in good hands.

For what it’s worth, we offer our customers an uptime of 99.9% or more, guaranteed.

And our friendly support reps all speak at least one language very well. 🙂

Got any questions? Just contact us and ask away!