SMS Buyers Guide

The guide – ‘How to Choose an SMS Provider’ from details objective criteria for judging the quality of a provider of Internet SMS services, such as fastsms.

It is the purpose of this document to see where fastsms stands when such questions are asked.


1. How much does it cost to send 1 SMS message?

Fastsms is a credit based messaging system whereby 1 credit = a single 160 character SMS message.

Credits cost from as little as 2.1p each when bought in sufficient numbers (even less for very large quantities).

To send to a UK mobile will only ever cost 1 credit.

However some landlines and mobile phones outside of the UK can cost more than 1 credit so check with us to be sure. We are constantly looking for new high quality routes to send messages to other countries and so reduce the cost to all users.

Contact us for the latest available operators or visit our network coverage page.


2. Are there any hidden costs?

Fastsms is the first fully professional internet texting service with complete transparency of pricing.

Contrary to rival providers fastsms have…

  • NO monthly contracts
  • NO monthly minimum purchases
  • NO charges for inbound messages
  • NO time limits on message credits
  • NO hidden charges
  • NO surprises


All fastsms solutions are free and readily available for everyone, including…

Fastsms also provide free technical support and advice by phone and email for every level of user, regardless of usage or money spent.


3. Are there any minimum purchase requirements or minimum monthly usage requirements?

Our only minimum purchase is 100 credits at 3.5p/credit coming to just £3.50.

Every user also gets the chance to try before they buy as each account comes with 10 free credits.

Unlike other providers there is at no point a minimum usage requirement – you only pay for what you use and you use as little or as much as you like, in your own time.


4. Will the purchased credits or SMS messages expire after a certain period?

Some providers will impose restrictions on when you must use your credits.

Fastsms credits have a limitless shelf life – they’re your credits and we would never take them off you!


5. How good is the SMS gateway provider’s network coverage?

Fastsms only use the highest quality routes and can guarantee delivery of your message to more than 400 GSM providers in over 90 countries. Visit our network coverage page for a full list.


6. How good is the SMS gateway provider’s network quality?

The fastsms network is housed in just one hop from the main internet backbone. You can learn more about our data centres here.

We operate a cloud of application servers and database servers to ensure maximum speed and availability. Our engineers are constantly monitoring both network security and performance to ensure the system is always available.

Fastsms only connects to the highest quality routes in the UK, with several direct binds to the UK operators to ensure maximum coverage, speed of delivery and reliability – this means you have the highest level of service with delivery routes that cannot be beaten.

Most messages sent through fastsms reach their destination within seconds and inbound messages are just as quick, regardless of which of our SMS solutions you use.


7. Is the protocol / interface you intend to use supported by the SMS gateway?

Sending via the API from within your application can be as simple as generating a HTTP request that contains the relevant variables and sending them to the fastsms gateway. This can be in the form of a HTTP POST or GET via your desired programming language.

The protocols that are supported by our API include:

  • HTTP
  • SMTP
  • XML

The fastsms API gateway has been implemented into many different business solutions including server monitoring & alert systems, contact management databases and many other advanced applications.

If your application already supports email you can integrate SMS without the need for the API – using the Email to SMS service you can effortlessly add SMS functionality into any software that already supports SMTP.


8. Is the SMS gateway provider’s API well documented and easy to use? Is there any sample code provided?

Fastsms provide comprehensive API documentation as well as sample code to anyone who requires it, free of charge.

You can login to NetMessenger to get access or contact us for more information.


9. What payment options does the SMS gateway provider offer?

Fastsms offer a wide range of payment options to cater for every level of customer.

All major credit/debit cards are accepted through our secure online payment system or over the phone.

You can request an order form and pay by cheque or bank transfer with the order.

Alternatively potential users can contact fastsms to apply for credit and pay in a way that suits them.

Fastsms is designed to be freely accessible to every user, so they can choose a payment method that is right for them and their usage.


10. Is it easy to manage your account? Can you check the number of credits or SMS messages left in your account?

NetMessenger is the fastsms web based messaging interface – from here you can easily manage all aspects of your account.

You can set low credit reminders and top up your account online.

All accounts have the ability to create sub users and distribute credits accordingly. You can also generate reports on general and individual usage as well as communicate with these sub users directly.


11. Does the SMS gateway provider provide any free SMS messages for testing?

Every account starts with 10 free credits for testing (no payment details required). All you need to do is sign up online or give us a call on 0800 954 5305 to get started.


12. Does your SMS application require 2-way SMS messaging services?

All you need to enable two way messaging is a fastsms Virtual Mobile Number (VMN); this is free for 90 days when you open an account with at least 1000 credits (otherwise £99pa).

A VMN can be used with all fastsms solutions; messages come direct to your inbox and can be also forwarded to an email address or mobile phone.


13. How good is the SMS gateway provider’s support service?

The fastsms support service is free to everyone; we will do everything in our power to help our customers get the most out of their account.

Fastsms provide support and advice by email and phone, dependent on the user’s preference.

Fastsms also operate information resources such as a blog, FAQs section, monthly newsletters, user manuals and guides.

Click here to learn more. Alternatively you can email us or call us on 0800 954 5305