Welcome to the SMS Messaging Hub!

Our aim is to define and explain today’s messaging ecosystem and help you navigate the market. If you’re looking for a messaging provider the SMS Messaging Hub will provide you with all the information you’ll need to find a suitable vendor in just a matter of clicks.

Ecosystem Overview

There are three fundamental concepts that must be understood in order to ensure that suggestion for companies fit into the right categories. They are:

The Value Chain

The Value Chain
Enterprise / Developer
This is the person or Provider that produces the message to be sent to a consumer (usually their customer), examples here include Whatsapp, Citibank, Amazon etc.
ASP / Communications Provider
These companies typically solve either vertical or horizontal problems for SMSs and Developers. They will solve things like two factor authentication or provide marketing solutions (e.g. Adobe Marketing Cloud, or Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud)
SMS API Provider
These companies are typically the ones who aggregate carriers / mobile SMS API Provider operators (MNO's) and depending on their connectivity can be classed as either Global or Local. Depending on whether they have direct technical and commercial relationships with carriers can be classed as either Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 (e.g. CLX Communications, Mblox, SAP etc.)
MNO / Mobile Carrier
These are the Mobile SMS API Provider Operators / Carriers that have subscribers (e.g. AT&T, Verizon etc.)
Consumer
This is the wireless subscriber who receives the message and is usually a customer of the SMS / Developer

Tier 1 vs. Tier 2 vs. Tier 3 SMS API Provider

Tier 1 vs. Tier 2 vs. Tier 3 SMS API Provider
A Tier 1 SMS API Provider
A Tier 1 SMS API Provider has a deep commercial, operational and technical integration into the carriers of that particular country enabling them to deliver a message to all subscribers in that country without transiting another SMS SMS API
A Tier 2 SMS API Provider
A Tier 2 SMS API Provider has a deep commercial, operational and technical integration into a Tier 1 provider whereby the Tier 1 provider has contractually guaranteed to deliver the message via their Tier 1 connections in the country only.
A Tier 3 SMS API Provider
A Tier 3 SMS API Provider can be using a combination of Tier 2 and Tier 1 SMS API Providers but does not care about the provenance of the upstream connectivity but does ensure that the message is delivered at the lowest cost possible

Examples of a Tier 1 SMS API Provider delivering a message to a subscriber in the USA would need a direct commercial, operational, technical relationship with all Tier 1 MNO's / Carriers in the USA (e.g. Verizon, AT&T)

Examples of a Tier 1 SMS API provider delivering a message to a subscriber in the UK would need to a direct commercial, operational, technical relationship with at least one of the MNO's / Carriers can deliver off-net to the others

Local vs. Global Tier 1 SMS API Provider

Local Tier 1 SMS API Provider
The SMS ecosystem is still relatively fragmented and there are a number of local companies that only deliver messages to that country via Tier 1 connectivity
Global Tier 1 SMS API Provider
A Global SMS API Provider can provide Tier 1 connectivity to 30 countries or more

Similarly:

Local Tier 2 SMS API Provider
A local Tier 2 SMS API Provider will typically use a Local or Global Tier 1 provider to deliver a message to all subscribers in a country
Global Tier 2 SMS API Provider
A Global Tier 2 SMS API Provider will typically use a combination of Local and Global Tier 1 providers to 30 countries or more

And Lastly:

Local Tier 3 SMS API Provider
A local Tier 3 SMS API provider will typically buy from the lowest provider without the need for provenance
Global Tier 3 SMS API Provider
A Global Tier 3 SMS API provider will typically buy from the lowest provider without the need for provenance to reach 30 countries or more