Is Twilio the best voice/SMS service for a web/mobile app?

I just signed up for a Twilio test account and it seems like an awesome service for programmatically sending/receiving text messages, conference calls, etc.

However, it seems like there are a ton of alternatives. Are there any services that are better than Twilio? I know a bunch of services offer slightly better SMS pricing.

EDIT: My expected usage would likely be a small amount of text message reminders and the ability to setup a conference call that 2 people could call into.

Answer This Question
Expert Answers
Sort by Date Sort by Votes
1

Hey Chris - Twilio is ok for low-volume apps. If you have any kind of volume, though, there are a few factors to consider:

1) If you're using Twilio for long codes you'll run into problems with consistent delivery to the handsets as the mobile operators are seeing a lot of spam on long codes and restrict the volume of messages that they will send. And they don't tell Twilio which messages were not delivered so you'll still pay for the messages.

2) Connection Type - If you use a short code on Twilio you'll need a fairly robust http: POST mechanism because Twilio doesn't support SMPP binds (don't ask me why).

Feel free to message me at kelly@atomicmobile.com if you want to know more.
K

Thanks Kelly. I probably should have clarified my expected usage. First off, it would likely be low-usage at first. And I'd likely want to use it for text message reminders (maybe 5/day at first, hopefully slowly growing) and for conference calls where 2 people could dial a number and talk together. What are long/short codes? Not really familiar with mobile terminology.

Oop. Sorry Chris. I missed your question, to which you likely already have the answer. A long code is a 10-digit number (a regular phone number) and the delivery of SMS using these is largely un-regulated and unwelcome by the mobile operators, mostly because of spam. A short code is a 5-6 digit number that is part of the closed mobile messaging ecosystem all mobile operators have in place. It is generally expensive but there is structure for consistent message delivery as well as problem escalation.

1

I've only had experience with text messaging (as a business owner and as a developer) so I can offer advice only in this regard.
For SMS twilio's interface is simple and easy to use - I've used their API in php and .net and it was a breeze.
The downside is that their SMS costs are pretty high compared to the competition and they don't have such a great coverage outsides the US (they do offer an reliable international SMS service if you want to send SMS).

To fit my needs I've been using nexmo (www.nexmo.com) as they have better rates and better coverage outside US. And their API is just as easy to use.
Let me know if there are any other aspects I could shed light on.

Thanks Dragos. This is the same impression I got. Their product/UI looks awesome but their SMS pricing is noticeably higher. Does Nexmo do conference calling, too? Ideally, I'd like a product that covers both.

No - nexmo is all about cheap SMS
If you want voice you should go to twilio (or other provider).
I think you would get the best deal by using 2 different providers for SMS and voice

Quick word of caution re: Twilio. Even at very low volumes we've detected missing messages, both inbound and outbound. This is worrisome considering we're currently very low volume (2-3 incoming, 10-15 outgoing messages per day), but Twilio does have two ways to increase reliability which I'm implementing today.

1. Fallback URL - this is a secondary inbound URL on our system that Twilio will use to repeat the message should it get a "fatal" error on the original attempt. It's designed to allow you to have a back-up server, but I'm intending to copy my primary URL to it for now and add enhanced logging so I can see how often it resends successfully. I still won't see unsuccessful resends of course.

2. Message Status Callback - when Twilio recieves a message it will respond with a status of "sent", "sending", "queued", or "failed". For "sending" or "queued" they will post the final status to a callback URL. This will allow me to resend when necessary.

Thanks Will. Very good to know.

1

There are many SMS options that are lower cost. There are fewer options that support voice and SMS, but there are choices there too. Check out Twilio, Tropo, TelAPI, 46Elks for voice and SMS, just a few I have on tip of my fingertips. If you have very low volume, then Twilio penny a message is probably inconsequential for you. You could also move later if volume starts going way up and impacting your finances. Disclaimer: I am founder of www.OneAPI4SMS.com which is currently only SMS, but looking at voice option in future. And if you are doing 5 SMS per day, don't worry about short code vs. long code. If you want to learn more about long code, check out www.longcodes.com, and short codes, check out www.usshortcodes.com.Good luck to you.

0

We use tropo as it is free for developers.

What have you used it for? Have you liked using it and would you recommend it to others?

0

Check out www.3seventy.com.

Why? Do they even offer both voice and mobile services? Do you have experience with them (or work with them)?

0

SMS is one of the communication media it will reach lots of people in seconds and it the best way to reach thousands of people in seconds of time. I would like to share more advantages on my blog.
Bulk sms

Login to Business.com

Login with Your Account
Forgot Password?
New to Business.com? Join for Free

Join Business.com

Sign Up with Your Social Account
Create an Account
Sign In

Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Community Guidelines, and Privacy Policy.

Reset Your Password

Enter your email address and we'll send you an email with a link to reset your password.

Cancel