Receiving SMS (Two-Way SMS)


This section applies to receiving SMS messages and two-way SMS services. There are two distinct ways to receive SMS, although Operator Short Codes is the most common and best technical solution for billing.

With short codes and virtual mobile numbers, MX Telecom receive messages via direct connections into the network SMSCs (SMS centres).

Operator Short Codes

Using Operator Short Codes is the highest inbound volume SMS solution available. Operator short codes are capabable on average of receiving roughly 30 SMS messages per second, per network. This means that a cross network short code would be able to receive over 100 messages per second, assuming that the traffic was shared equally over the networks.

Importantly, short codes are network specific. Therefore, short codes can be enabled for only a subset of the available networks. This option is cheaper, but the disadvantage is that only a subset of mobile users will be able to use this service. Enabling a short code across all networks therefore provides a better service.

Mobile Originated (MO) SMS messages can be set at different tariff rates on short codes, but this is not available for virtual mobile numbers where standard rate always applies. This means that mobile phone users can be charged a premium for sending an SMS text message to a short code, which is another possible source of revenue.

In fact, short codes are the only way of billing users via Premium SMS, (often known as Reverse Billing). Therefore, using Operator Short Codes is in fact the complete SMS billing solution. For further information, click here.

MX Telecom Virtual Mobile

MX Telecom Virtual Mobile is designed to receive SMSs on virtually any mobile network around the world using a standard 11 digit mobile number. It has an advantage over short codes, in that like a normal mobile number, it can receive SMS messages from most networks in the world. This is completely different to operator short codes, which can only receive messages from users on that network. However, there are no billing options when using a Virtual Mobile number. The MO leg is always set to standard rate, and Premium SMS cannot be sent from a Virtual Mobile number. Therefore this is a purely inbound, non-billed solution. For further information, click here.

Service comparison

Service Type of service Maximum receive rate Type of number Accessibility Setup fee Monthly fee
MX Telecom Inbound Short Code Service Dedicated 30 SMSs per second per network 5 digit short code Only from subscribed networks 0 GBP 200GBP / 175GBP per network
MX Telecom Inbound Short Code Keyword Service Shared (Keyword) 30 SMSs per second per network 5 digit short code Only from subscribed networks 0 GBP 75GBP per network
MX Telecom Virtual Mobile Dedicated 30 SMSs per second 11 digit UK MSISDN Worldwide 1000 GBP 350 GBP
Shared MX Telecom Virtual Mobile Shared (Keyword) 30 SMSs per second 11 digit UK MSISDN Worldwide 0 GBP 150 GBP

*Please Contact Us for pricing in other countries.

Managing Two-Way SMS Services

One of the key advantages of using MX Telecom to receive SMS for you, is that in addition to the technical interfaces we provide, partners who want to outsource the development of more complicated messaging services can use the Content Managment Platform, CMX2. This provides the ability to construct intelligent messaging services from simple "building blocks".

For more information how to Connect to our SMS Gateway, click here. For more information on CMX2's messaging capabilities, click here.

Two-Way SMS Services

Examples of Two-Way SMS Services include:

  • Content delivery.

    Upon seeing an advert somewhere, a user will text in a keyword to a short code, and will then receive a WAP Push message back, which takes them to the WAP site where they can download content. Such content could be ringtones, music files, video clips, java applications, etc.

  • SMS Chat.

    All forms of SMS Chat use a Two-Way SMS System.

  • Live Competitions.

    Companies running live competitions can accept answers via SMS, and then respond accordingly.

  • SMS to Email.

    Following the receipt of an SMS containing an email address followed by a message, it can be automatically sent through as an email.

  • Information request.

    Users can text a question to a number, and receive the answer as a billed message.

For more information, please contact us at 1-877-698-3532 or via email at