The world is getting smaller every day. Businesses are becoming increasingly global as barriers and boundaries are falling. Your customers and workforce is no longer restricted to one country or area; teams are global and constantly moving around. In addition, technology is becoming increasingly mobile with SMS as a core element of communications.
Phones are everywhere. 6 out of every 7 people worldwide have a cell phone with access to SMS. Attached to each one of these cell phones a unique phone number that enables direct communication to that specific person. No other form of communication has this type of reach, not ever the internet. Phones and SMS messaging are relatively simple to learn making it accessible to people of all ages.
With so many potential customers only a text message away, having a global strategy is critical.
T – However, expanding your SMS infrastructure is not as easy as opening a new office.
Roamer offers a smartphone app de-signed to enable travelers to save 95-99% on international data and phone calls without requiring them to change their mobile number while traveling.
The company needed a 100% reliable way to verify new users’ phone numbers around the world.
The Nexmo SMS platform provides Roamer with a low-latency solution that enables rapid and reliable verification of users’ phone numbers.
Sending SMS is a bit like traveling internationally. Say you want to go from Los Angeles to London. Airlines work on a hub-and-spoke model. They decide where they will fly and you have to hop along those predetermined routes to get to your destination, sometimes with many transfers. In this case, you want to fly on United, so they will take you from LA to their hub in Chicago, switch planes and fly you to London. You have a connecting flight to catch, but you have no idea how your bags are going to get routed, you just hope they arrive on time. There are major issues that might arrive along the way. For example, the connecting flights might get canceled or there might be significant delays due to weather or traffic at the hub. In addition, your bags might not even make it on the same plane as you, so if the plane they are on gets delayed you wont even know about it until you arrive. Finally, your bag might have issues getting through customs due to local regulations regarding items you might have packed.
This is the same struggle in the SMS world. Networks send messages to the geographical areas that are profitable to them. In order to get global with SMS you have to build a massive web of network-to-network hops.
T - These hops pass through aggregators that chain together to give you reach but come at the cost of quality.
Because the Legacy Telco Services are fragmented, complexity increases dramatically and comes with a host of issues when trying to scale globally.
Lets begin with an explanation of how SMS works in the Legacy environment. You want to get your messages to your customers around the world. In a typical situation, your messages are sent to an aggregator that is local. That aggregator then passes the message along to another aggregator and so on and so forth until there is an aggregator connected to the carrier of the phone you are trying to reach. At each step there are a number of potential issues that may come into play.
At each hop, your message has to go through the same process. It is received by the aggregator and is put in a queue of messages. Message queues build up because SMS is built on a store-and-forward model, which means each message must be copied and store before it is sent onto its destination or its next hop along the way. Since it takes time copy each message, queues build up and cause latency. And this happens at each step along the way.
So if you want to move to a second country there are host of issues that you need to address. You have to learn the country and carrier compliance laws and regulations, you’re going to have to deal with quality issues derived from the infrastructure, and you are going to have to pay out a high cost of delivery…all of this leading to a slow and costly time to market.
T - So lets explore these four realities and why it takes an average of 6 months for companies to scale into a new country with SMS without Nexmo.
The first thing you have to do when scaling to a new country is learn the rules. Each country has its own laws about what can and cannot be sent in an SMS; potentially even WHEN a message can be sent. Some countries allow the industry standard 160 characters in a message, others won’t allow more than 157 characters. Other countries wont let you send a URL in the message content.
If you want to send messages in a new country, you have to sign a legally binding contract that says you will adhere to these rules at all times or pay a $500 per message fee. This means that your business needs to learn hundreds of pages of content and stay in compliance with those rules all the time.
In addition to country specific requirements, many carriers have their own unique compliance requirements. Each country may have many different carriers so the combination of country level requirements and carrier specific requirements is daunting and vast. Carriers might filter specific phrases or words and you cannot control whether or not they deliver your message. Around the world, on average, three carriers change a rule or regulation each week which means not only do you have to learn the rules, you have to say up-to-date on the rules.
T – After you deal with country and carrier specific issues you’re still not done. The industry operators may be operating in grey areas that add risk to your business.
How your messages get to their destinations matters. You might be willing to deal with the latency and the deliverability issues that stem from the Legacy Telco structure, but if an aggregator along your path of delivery uses a Sim Farm or another form of quasi-illegal SMS distribution, the repercussions may fall on you.
A sim farm is essentially a sim card plugged into a modem that is pushing as many messages as possible. These routes exist and they are generally illegal, but aggregators are motivated by cost optimization not with protecting your business, so they may use them to deliver messages.
Grey routes are a chain of aggregators where one or more of the networks along the way are out of compliance and, therefore place your business at risk.
Additionally, Spammers might change the identity of the “sender” on their messages to be able to send bulk messages at no cost. While there may be filtering at the carrier level, some aggregators will send a spoofed message right along with a legitimate one, increasing your cost and the spam attributed to your company’s brand.
T – If that isn’t enough to make you think twice about using aggregators, lets talk about what its going to take for you create quality with network-to-network hops.
In order to optimize your messaging experience, you’ll need to manage multiple vendors going into the same location. One carrier is generally not enough as all carriers experience downtime at some point and different carrier options might be available to consumers in that area. If you want to be able to reach all the mobile users in the country, you have to build relationships with the carriers they are connected to.
You also have to ensure that messages can get delivered in a timely manner, so if one route fails or a carrier goes down…you have to be able to adapt. Therefore, building multiple carrier relationships everywhere you want to expand is unavoidable. This means going through the compliance process and signing more and more contracts.
T – Bottom line is that in order to offer quality service to your customers, you have to do more and more legwork, which is going to cost you more money and take time.
Most businesses then think “Well, if I have to line up multiple routes, I can get better prices by making companies compete with one another”.
This doesn’t work, however, because the cost of managing multiple carrier relationships AND carrier and country compliance is more expensive than the messaging costs. To give you an idea, Google has a team of 100 people to manage their own SMS distribution system.
You need lawyers to learn the rules, and contract managers to stay up to date.
You also have to hire an team of engineers to code and maintain apps that remain complaint to the changing regulations. You have to build an app to obey all the rules, or you have to build and manage country specific apps that obey the rules of their specific country.
And then you have to keep all of this going and increase it each time you scale.
T – All of these factors play into your total time-to-market, because remember…at this point you haven’t even started sending messages in that new country.
To summarize the going global process, you first have to investigate the rules and regulations of the country or countries . You have to build the carrier relationships and redundancies to have a quality distribution system. You have to build the app to be compliant to country specific regulations AND you have to constantly monitor, reroute, reprogram and relearn the rules and regulations in case they change.
You really have 2 choices, you can either take this on yourself or you can hire someone whose sole job is to get it right for you. That’s your choice. We can help you avoid pain, save time and save money.
T – Trust us to get it right.
We make it easier for you to comply to an ever changing world while delivering higher quality, better operational efficiency and a dramatically reduced time-to-market.
Message routes are going to fail, eventually all carrier networks experience some sort of hiccup…but we exist to instantly react to the problems and transition your messages to backup routes as seamlessly as possible.
T – Let us worry about global delivery so you can focus on your business.
Latency is a mathematical problem and Nexmo overcomes it by simply removing the hubs. There is no need to go through multiple hops because we have built relationships directly with over 700 carriers in 190 countries around the world. When you send a message it goes from your application, through our API, directly to the carriers to reach your customers directly. No hubs. No handoffs. No aggregator queues. No lowest cost routing. You get decreased latency and increased deliverability right off the bat because we cut out the aggregators and the headache that comes with them.
Cutting out the aggregators directly decreases message latency, increases deliverability and provides actionable data to help you build your business.
T – We can guarantee delivery because our Direct-to-Carrier approach allows us to see the route end-to-end.
Nexmo’s direct-to-carrier, end-to-end visibility generates 20 million data points per day. We are actively monitoring this stream of information that enables us to make intelligent, real-time routing decisions.
When you send a message, a status signal is sent back to the sender. That signal may be “delivered”, “out of reach”, “undelivered”, “invalid number” or “blocked”.
We measure Quality of Delivery by two metrics that give you insight into your success in real time: Success Ratio and DLR Ratio.
“Success Ratio” is the percentage of messages received by the handset.
“DLR Ratio” is the percentage of messages with a delivery receipt. It is like a route ping. A high ratio means that the route is responding as expected and healthy. Nexmo’s goal is to maximize DLR Ratio and our network is designed to provide the optimal path for delivery. Due to our direct-to-carrier system we generally run at 98 to 100% DLR Ratio. This ratio measures how well Nexmo is performing.
The conversion ratio is a quality control metric built into our API.
T – Lets take a detailed look at the kind of information Nexmo gathers and the conclusions we can draw from our Conversion API.
Nexmo’s Conversion API determines a metric called the “Conversion Ratio” that helps us to not only maximize your message delivery and minimize latency but also increase your conversion. Conversion API checks if the desired action has taken place. For instance, if the SMS contained a PIN for two-factor authentication for a new customer setting up an account, the API learns from the application if the user has entered in the PIN they were sent. This an essential metric for a business class messaging platform. Sometimes carriers block messages but send false delivery receipts, the Conversion API helps us sort out the truth. Here are a couple of examples of how Nexmo uses real-time analytics to gather information about message routes.
<Click> 1. If Nexmo ever sees a DLR Ratio of 100% and a Success Ratio of 100%, but our Conversion Ratio is 0, we know that the carrier is sending a fake delivery confirmation. Despite the fact that Nexmo is getting a delivery confirmation, our API can see that the user are not getting their message because the action requested has not been taken.
<Click> 2. If Success Ratio is 50%, DLR Ratio is 100%, and the conversion Ratio is 50% only some of the messages are being filtered. In this situation, Nexmo can assume that a company is sending a few different types of messages, like PIN codes and marketing messaging, and one type of traffic is getting blocked. There are a few possible reasons for the filtering 1) the user might be spamming their user base, 2) the user might have invalid sender ID’s, or 3) Political content is being sent. Generally speaking, Nexmo’s 2FA PIN traffic is always delivered, so the problem must be in a different type of message.
<Click> 3. When DLR Ratio and Success Ratio are 0, but the Conversion Ratio is 80%, Nexmo can gather than the carrier does not support delivery confirmation receipts. The API confirms that messages are delivered to their destinations and the desired action is completed.
T – With all of this information, we can actively change message routes to optimize your messaging experience.
With other solutions you are just blasting your messages and relying on customer complaints to notify you when your messages aren’t arriving. We have a better way that is proactive, adaptive and agile. What we have done is create an adaptive routing algorithm that intelligently influences the way we route messages.
As I mentioned on the last slide, Nexmo constantly monitors network performance and gathers 20 million data points everyday regarding the status and performance of our routes.
Based on the information, we can adjust your routes in real time to ensure your messages are delivered. We have a minimum of 5 routes to all our destinations and while 90% of our traffic might go through the same route on a regular basis, we can switch between those routes instantly to guarantee the delivery of your messages.
So regardless of whether you are sending to the building next door or a phone halfway around the world, we can guarantee its delivery because even our redundancies have redundancies.
T – We’ve shown you how we can deliver your messages globally with a very high level of quality, next we are going to show you how we ensure that those messages compliant in the locations in which they are being delivered.
Compliance is a difficult thing to maintain, regardless of whether you are a growing company or a global business. Remember than on average, 3 carriers each week change their compliance regulations somewhere around the world. Here are some examples of compliance regulations and how we actively adapt your messages:
In France SMS’s must originate from a source, never a number. We adapt the delivery method, automatically switching out the phone number with a ‘pre-approved’ delivery code. Because local understanding of French SMS regulations, we can guarantee the message gets delivered.
A2P communications in Brazil are limited to 157 characters, if you send a message with 160 characters (SMS standard), the message will get truncated for Brazil recipients. Nexmo recognizes the potential delivery failure and modifies the communication to fit as intended.
Promotional A2P SMS cannot be delivered in India between the hours of 9pm and 9am. Because of our local experience, Nexmo converts the source of this message so that it is recognized as a registered transactional communication; message can be delivered to end users, even if they are on the national do not call list, and it is after 9PM.
One of the great aspects of our relationships with the carriers is that we get advanced notice to any regulation changes and we adapt our code so you are always compliant despite all the changes.
T – A2P messaging in the US is a little bit different than the rest of the world, so lets take a quick look at that.
Compliance in the US is actually pretty straightforward; all A2P messaging must take place over a short code number. Short codes are 5-6 digit numbers cost $1500 dollars a month and are governed by the Common Short Code Association and have an 8-12 week application process. This means that by the time you are able to send messages, you have paid out 3000-4500 dollars.
The application process is complicated and is scrutinized by many different organizations, it might pass through one only to get rejected by another. Once you do finally get your short code, you are compliant as long as you offer an opt-out option.
Nexmo offers preapproved short codes that allow you to start sending messages in minutes rather than months. Avoid the monthly $1500 fee and only pay for the messages you send.
If branding is important to your business, Nexmo will also help you through the Short Code application process to obtain your own dedicated short code.
T – We have more information on Short Codes in another workshop, now that you understand how Nexmo helps you go global with SMS, lets look at how some of our customers are using our API to get around the world.
Going Global with SMS
Going Global with SMS
The world is increasingly global
Having a global
strategy is critical
The SMS Infrastructure Is Prone To Delays
IT’S A BIT LIKE TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY. There are two basic models: hub and spoke and
direct. Regardless of which one you pick, your concern is arriving on-time. Just like getting to your intended
destination, sending SMS messages globally can be a volatile process where the risk grows with every
Scaling globally with SMS is difficult on your own
Cost of Delivery
Legacy Telco Services - Legacy is like a hub-and-spoke system
Ever-changing regulations make it difficult to comply
• Encoding languages
• Illegal content
• Block specific words,
Country Specific Compliance Carrier Specific Compliance
• Send hours
• Illegal content
• Identity issues
• Gray routes
Semi-legal activities in Telco Industry
Sim Farms Gray Routes Identity Spoofing
Legacy Telco Services - Legacy is like a hub-and-spoke system
Legacy telco networks offer poor quality of
service and unreliable routing
Connections to hubs in
different geographies for
• Little visibility to delivery
• Lost messages
• Delays within hop queues
Case Study: 2 Way Customer
• Capturing the opinions of
millions who are unreached
by traditional channels
• Building out a system of
that could reach people
across 55 countries
• The Nexmo Cloud API for
SMS enables global reach
• Nexmo’s analytics
provides insight in to
performance of the
• Tens of thousands of text messages sent each day
to recipients in 55 countries using a single cloud API
• Implemented in hours what otherwise might have taken 55+
weeks to engineer
“It might take a week to work with a local
SMS provider and integrate with their API.
If I had to do that in 55 countries, that’s 55
weeks of engineering time. We integrated
the Nexmo API in a matter of hours”
CTO, On Device Research
The factors that increase your TCO
Contract ManagersLawyers Developers Ongoing Operations
Managing end-to-end extends time-to-market
Develop understanding into the
legal specifics of the country you
are expanding into
• Hiring legal teams
• Investigating terms and conditions
with countries and their
• More than one carrier in
• Each carrier reaches different
areas better than others
• 200+ carriers worldwide
Program apps and
algorithms that help you comply
• Over 190 potential countries
• Must build a country specific
app to abide by country
• Must have engineers to
• Must have legal teams to stay up
to date on regulations
Can take up to 6 months PER country!
Nexmo can significantly expedite the process
Better Operational EfficiencyEasier to Comply Higher Quality
Scale with Nexmo’s direct-to-carrier relationships
Nexmo Direct-to-Carrier Connectivity - One Hop Max / Typically Zero Hops
Nexmo maintains relationships with
multiple carriers in each geography
to allow for a zero-hop connection
in most cases.
The APIs associated with this are
maintained by Nexmo providing
you with a seamless connection anywhere
in the world.
Optimize your business with real-time analytics
Due to the Direct-to-Carrier architecture,
Nexmo can monitor the status
of a message end-to-end.
Nexmo’s Real-time Analytics engine
can identify Success and DLR data.
Nexmo’s actionable data allows you to
compare your delivery rates with Nexmo’s
“Success Ratio” is the percentage of
by the handset.
“DLR Ratio” is the percentage of message
with a delivery receipt from a carrier.
Real-Time End-User Data - Conversion APIs Record More Than Data Points Per Day20 Million
Conversion API: Quality control metric
generated instantly by Nexmo’s API.
Get real-time information about your messages
ScenarioConversion RatioSuccess Ratio DLR Ratio
Carrier is faking a DLR and is most likely
filtering your message
Select messages are blocked. Likely filtered
for marketing content or political reasons
SMS route is quality but carrier does
not support DLR
0% 0% 80%
50% 100% 50%
Case Study: Adding SMS Drives 30% Growth
for Polling Provider
• Enable access to polls
when Internet and Wi-Fi
connectivity are poor
• Ensure consistent access
regardless of geographic
• Nexmo Cloud API for SMS
enables text messaging as a
polling response mechanism
• Nexmo’s Direct-to-Carrier®
approach and Adaptive
Routing™ ensure maximum
deliverability across the globe
• IQ Polls has grown 30% since supporting text voting
• The company has expanded business in new countries
in Europe, Asia, and the Far East
“It’s great for us that we can turn to Nexmo
as a single provider serving all these
countries. That makes it much easier for
us to support our clients.”
CTO, IQ Polls
Connect with adaptive routing
Adaptive Routing - Nexmo Algorithms Predict Failure and Automatically Reroute
Nexmo monitors route performance across
all carriers for latency, blockage, or other
Nexmo will redirect messages to the
best applicable route for the customer.
Nexmo API ensures visibility
into message delivery.
Understanding Compliance around the world
From: 33 1 43 54 22 66
To: 33 6 78 90 12 34
From: NX SC 1223
To: 33 6 78 90 12 34
Thank You. Your
order has shipped!
Don’t forget about
special deals this
Thank You. Your order
has shipped! Don’t
forget about special
deals this summer!
In France, SMS must originate
from a source, not a number.
Standard World SMS character limit is 160
characters. In Brazil, the limit is 157.
India Telecom regulations prohibit
promotional messages from being
delivered from 9PM - 9AM.
In the United States, all application-to-person (A2P)
messaging must take place over a short code number, a
tightly regulated 5-6 digit number that is distributed by the
Common Short Code Association.
Understanding Short Codes in the United States
Your payment has been
received! Thank you!
Your payment has been
received! Thank you!
(pay per message only)
(quarterly fee and
pay per message)
Start Sending in 1-2 days
Start sending in 8-12 weeks
$1,500 $1,500 $1,500 APPROVED
United States of America
For more information about Nexmo’s Preapproved Short Code view out
Short Code Workshop and At-A-Glance on our website.