SMS gives a voice to your business, reaching customers quickly and effectively. Text marketing is the ultimate mobile engagement tool, with impressive open and response rates and better costs than other marketing and communication channels. It's used by all types of businesses all around the world for various use cases, from driving sales and onboarding new customers to providing customer service and sending business-critical transactional messages.

If you want to leverage SMS messaging to its fullest potential, you need a reliable SMS gateway service. To help you decide, we've compiled a list of some of the best SMS gateway providers that can help your business efficiently connect with your customers.

Your choice of SMS API should be based on multiple factors, including the messaging capabilities you need, your level of technical knowledge, and your budget.

Let's explore in detail a checklist of factors for your selection process and the top options you should consider for your SMS communication needs.

8 important criteria to consider when selecting an SMS API provider

Before you choose an online SMS gateway API provider for your business, you need to keep in mind some important factors that should help you make the best decision.

Bulk messaging support

Since most businesses use SMS to send out promotional messages to their subscribers en masse, you need to find SMS gateway providers that will allow you to send bulk SMS messages to hundreds or even thousands of recipients at the same time.


A good SMS gateway provider will be able to handle any message volume and scale up as your business grows.

Connectivity and reliability

How consistent an SMS gateway service is with stable uptime and deliverability and how it handles downtime determines the true level of connectivity you will be able to achieve with your audience.

Coverage and routing

Does your chosen SMS provider cater to all the regions where your target audiences are located? Your text messages should get delivered quickly via the best routes, even if they're being sent halfway across the world.

Automation and scheduling

By scheduling and automating your SMS campaigns, you can save a lot of precious time and gain operational efficiencies. With the right platform, you can pre-save drafts for different types of SMS messages, such as reminders and welcome texts. Therefore, SMS gateway APIs that don't incorporate modern tech for maximum efficiency don't get a green flag from us!


With the right reporting tools, you will be able to get access to detailed campaign insights so that you can see how well your text messages are performing. You can make any changes necessary to further improve your SMS campaign ROI.

Compliance and security

You want your chosen SMS gateway service to be mindful of the legal compliance regulations applicable to the region(s) to which you expect to send messages. If the service provider violates any laws, it could land your business in legal trouble, too, not to mention the loss of reputation and possibly hefty fines.

Willingness and ability to help

Have you checked client reviews for potential SMS providers? If not, you should do it before you make a final commitment. In the service industry, the reliability of a service provider and their ability and willingness to resolve technical glitches and customers' concerns is an important aspect to consider.

11 best SMS gateway providers

Within this list, you'll find a selection of two types of options. The first are open-source SMS gateway software solutions that are geared up for developers. The second type are the best SMS API providers, which are SMS-sending services that are generally easier for businesses to use.

1. Messente

Messente is an SMS gateway and API provider that connects businesses to their customers in almost 200 countries. It's an omnichannel solution that supports a wide range of SMS marketing campaigns and time-critical transactional messages.

Messente dashboard screenshot

Main features offered by Messente

  • Global reach – Messente has partnerships with over 800 mobile networks.

  • Omnichannel messaging – you can also send rich content messages to Viber users.

  • Supports two-way SMS messaging, suited for customer support, and various other use cases.

  • Bulk SMS service provider with a 98% delivery rate, ensuring that important text messages such as verification codes, urgent alerts and notifications, and promotional messages reach maximum audiences on time.

  • Also offers a phone number verification API to eliminate costs incurred due to failed calls or text deliveries to invalid phone numbers.

  • Adaptive routing – smart routing algorithms determine the fastest delivery channels.

  • A suite of SMS campaign tools, such as message preview, scheduling, templates, unsubscribe links, contact management, and customisation options.

  • 100% free (human) customer support for all clients.

  • Easy SMS API integration into hundreds of apps through Zapier. The API is also developer-friendly for scalability.

  • Dashboard analytics – delivery reports, campaign history, and more.

  • Fraud protection mechanisms to shield client businesses from financial and reputational losses.

Messente's pricing structure

With Messente's pay-as-you-go model, you only pay for the messages you send, making it easy to scale your requirements up or down. The cost depends on the destination country and messaging volume. For example, 1,000 one-way messages to the U.S. cost €0.016 per SMS. Custom pricing is available for high messaging volumes. Calculate Messente pricing here.

2. Sinch

A customer engagement solution, Sinch supports messaging, voice, and email interactions. It offers omnichannel messaging or standalone messaging APIs for single-channel needs. The SMS API can be integrated into your business systems with a few lines of code.
Sinch dashboard screenshot

Main features offered by Sinch

  • Global reach – access to more than 600 mobile networks.

  • Mass text messaging.

  • One or two-way SMS.

  • RCS and MMS available for rich content texting.

  • Verified SMS supported.

  • Customer insights to monitor campaign performance.

 Sinch's pricing structure

Not advertised – you'll need to get in touch to get a quote.

3. Jasmin

Jasmin is an open-source SMS gateway written in the Python and Twisted frameworks. It sends and receives SMS through the HTTP and SMPP protocols and has been designed for performance, high traffic loads, and full in-memory execution. Jasmin is a message router – it needs to be used alongside a third-party SMS provider to connect to multiple mobile networks.

Jasmin screenshot

Main features offered by Jasmin

  • SMPP and HTTP clients/servers.

  • Relies on an Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) to queue messages for routing.

  • Ideal for highly scalable applications.

  • Supports multilingual SMS.

  • Advanced message routing/filtering.

Jasmin's pricing structure

Being open-source, Jasmin is free to use. Carrier fees will apply.

4. Telnyx

Telnyx is a next-generation communications platform. It's a licensed carrier with direct access to the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN), cutting out intermediaries to provide better quality, lower latency, and lower prices.

Main features offered by Telnyx

  • SMS API with global reach.

  • Supports MMS.

  • Can integrate with AI chatbots for automated messaging.

  • Deep number inventory – short codes, local and toll-free numbers, or an alphanumeric sender ID.

  • Granular reporting for delivery insights.

  • Opt-out management.

Telnyx's pricing structure

Prices are applied per message based on the destination, message type and carrier. You're only charged for what you use.

5. Podium

Podium is an Australian interaction management system that helps local businesses communicate, market to, and collect payments from customers. Podium focuses on helping small businesses interact with leads and customers, collect reviews and improve engagement, with much of this activity done through SMS messaging.

Podium screenshot

Main features offered by Podium

  • Growth tools – website chat, text marketing and text message review requests.

  • Omnichannel solution.

  • Central communications inbox to bring customers and channels together in one place.

  • Payment solutions – text to pay, Podium Payments, and Podium card readers.

  • Integrates with 180+ applications.

Podium's pricing structure

Starts at $289 per month (14-day free trial available).

6. Kalkun

Another SMS gateway provider that offers an open-source platform is Kalkun. It uses Gammu SMSD as an SMS gateway engine to send and retrieve text messages from your phone.

Main features offered by Kalkun

  • Supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite3.

  • Multi-user support.

  • User-friendly interface showing inbox, outbox, personal folders, etc.

  • SMS messages are grouped in conversation view.

  • Phonebook feature available.

  • API access.

Kalkun's pricing structure

Free software download.

7. D7 Networks

D7 Networks was created by a group of mobile experts in 2012 and specialises in worldwide, cost-effective and lightning-fast SMS transmission and email delivery to businesses across all industries.

 Main features offered by D7 Networks

  • Direct connections to seven continents.

  • Customisable SMS API.

  • Supports Unicode messaging.

  • Two-way messaging is available for conversations.

  • Automated 2FA verification service.

  • Easy integration through plugins.

  • Separate WhatsApp Business API for sending rich media messages.

D7 Networks's pricing structure

You only pay for what you use. Calculate costs for texting specific countries on the D7 Networks website.

8. Bird (formerly MessageBird)

MessageBird (recently rebranded to Bird) powers communication between businesses and their customers across various channels, such as SMS, WhatsApp, Instagram, push notifications, email and voice. Bird processes more than 5 trillion messages for over 29K customers, which include Facebook, Google and Uber.

Bird screenshot

Main features offered by Bird

  • Global reach with access to over 240 direct connections in 140 countries.

  • Omnichannel messaging solution.

  • Inbox product brings together customer conversations across all supported channels for omnichannel service.

  • Send and receive texts through drag-and-drop builders, a point-and-click dashboard, or the Bird API.

  • Template flows are available to help build engaging experiences.

  • Omnichannel messaging widget can be embedded into any webpage.

Bird's pricing structure

The costs are based on tiers. You'll get 1,000 monthly messages for free, then it costs £0.0042 per additional message (plus a vendor fee) for up to 100,000 messages. It's £0.0038 per message plus a vendor fee for 100,000 to 500,000 messages.

9. Kannel

A compact and powerful open-source WAP and SMS gateway, Kannel serves trillions of push notifications and text messages across the globe. Kannel is a well-established project, having been founded in 1999 under a different company, Wapit Ltd.

Main features offered by Kannel

  • Open-source WAP gateway that also serves as an SMS gateway for GSM networks.

  • Links HTTP-based services to different SMS centres.

  • Works as a pull and push gateway.

  • Supports Unicode data.

  • Handles hundreds of messages per second.

  • Delivery reports provided.

Kannel's pricing structure

Kannel is free to download; users are encouraged to make a donation.

10. Clickatell

Clickatell is a chat commerce platform that supports customer relationship building through mobile messaging, engagement, and payment solutions. Clickatell allows customers to text businesses to make purchases, track orders, and resolve problems.

Clickatell screenshot

Main features offered by Clickatell

  • SMS gateway service with an infrastructure covering more than 1,000 mobile networks.

  • Supports two-way messaging.

  • Omnichannel messaging – SMS, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

  • USSD interactive messaging and chat flows.

  • Transact APIs for distributing digital goods (like airtime and data).

  • 99.9% platform uptime.

  • 24/7 network operations monitoring.

Clickatell's pricing structure

Costs are dependent on the destination country, one-way or two-way messaging, and message volume. In some countries, one-way messaging isn't available. You can calculate monthly pricing on Clickatell's website.

11. PlaySMS

PlaySMS is an open-source SMS management software and a web interface for SMS gateways. It can be customised for personal messaging needs or group communications and handles bulk SMS (tested up to 200,000 SMS text messages per day).

Main features offered by PlaySMS

  • Supports multiple database engines.

  • Supports Unicode messages.

  • SMS to email.

  • SMS autoresponders.

  • Supports SMS polls and quizzes.

  • Has a blacklist and firewall plugin for SMS services protection.

  • SMS subscriber management.

Play SMS's pricing structure

PlaySMS is free, open-source software (not a free SMS service).

Global connectivity concept

Choosing the best SMS gateway service provider

SMS marketing is often heavily focused on advertising a business's products or services, with the goals of boosting sales, improving customer retention, and increasing customer engagement through two-way SMS. Your business can use text messaging to meet all these goals by choosing the best SMS gateway provider.

In this article, we've compared some of the best SMS APIs around. For some of these choices, you'll need to engage a developer, such as the open-source software options. Others provide an out-of-the-box platform that you can begin using right away.

Why not get started with text marketing using Messente's SMS gateway API? Request a demo to try the platform out.