Cont. from txtNation Blog.

There are a number of factors you need to consider when choosing your SMS service provider; so that you can bill your customers via their mobile phone send SMS text messages as part of your overall marketing and billing strategy effectively and in line with industry regulations.

Every country has its own mobile marketing legal compliance rules and rightly so: A mobile phone number is sacred, we carry our mobiles with us all of the time and research shows that over 90% of text messages are read within 4 minutes of being received. That’s huge. So we, as marketers, need to treat this with respect and be intelligent with our SMS marketing and billing.

txtNation is a 100% opt in service, we are at the forefront of legal compliance and we take this very seriously. We work with our clients to ensure that you are fully within the regulations and are getting the most out of your mobile billing and marketing campaigns.

As an example, Phone Pay Plus in the UK requires that premium rate services must:

  • be upfront about the service they offer and the cost
  • treat consumers fairly
  • comply with the law
  • not invade consumer privacy
  • not cause harm or unreasonable offence to consumers
  • resolve consumer complaints quickly

We provide a list of regulator resources a our support site

In order to help you get the very best out of your SMS marketing and billing, we have great account management support and ticketing time is below 2 minutes.

With txtNation, you can build you own mobile payment and messaging services in the cloud, on top of our robust platform via our SMS gateway API. The txtNation Gateway is everything you need to build your own mobile and SMS solutions to your exact requirements, end-to-end.

Contact us to find out how it can benefit your business today.

When: Wednesday, 8th May 2013 at 3pm (GMT)
Webcast: Webinar - Payforit 4 UK – The Mobile Billing Opportunity

txtNation discuss the Mobile Billing Opportunity with Payforit version 4 for the UK market and why merchants are moving to this platform. Key points will include:
  • What is Payforit?
  • Where can Payforit be used?
  • Payment flow and implementation options
  • The benefits to both merchants and consumers
  • Use cases for Payforit
  • Technical options and support


Our USSD Gateway

Over the last several years we have been hard at work behind the scenes, working with mobile networks, partners and technology enablers to bring USSD into our mobile messaging options; joining our ever popular carrier grade Bulk SMS and HLR Lookup Gateway connections.

This introduction occurred because of two main reasons: i) demand to use this tech from our clients and ii) we realise the future potential of this powerful ‘session’ based messaging technology.

USSD seems to have been forgotten among the more obvious technologies, namely SMS, which is a shame considering its design and build is perfect for many service options, from mobile payments through to interactive chat.

Overlooking USSD?

USSD is a communication protocol that works across the mobile GSM networks.

It is a real-time messaging option similar to SMS, where it sends the message (MT) utilising the signaling channel. The most notable difference from SMS which uses a ‘store and forward’ message flow is that with USSD it works on a ‘session’ based connection.

Advantages of USSD (V’s SMS)

USSD has many key advantages as a mobile messaging option:

1. USSD provides cost effective messaging worldwide.
2. USSD allows messages to take place during a call.
3. USSD does not incur charges for roaming.
4. USSD works with interactive menus as well as notifications (nSMS).
5. USSD is much faster then other messaging options, as it is session based – always having an active connection.
6. USSD is not mobile software or SIM based. i.e. it can run without both. Just requiring a connection to the the GSM network.

There are two types of options:

  • Push

Network pushed USSD service in which the network (MSC, VLR and / or HLR) sends the USSD message toward mobile subscriber.

  • Pull

Mobile Subscriber requested USSD with user sending a USSD message towards the Gateway. i.e. using USSD Short Codes. e.g. *100

New Types of Services using USSD

USSD is gaining more popularity for interactive menu driven services like mobile banking, roaming with prepaid service, callback services, mobile chat, software upgrades, etc.

Alongside the above, here is a list of some popular active service types using USSD:

‘Push’ services (i.e. one way nSMS – Notifications)

  • Voting and polling
  • Announcements

‘Pull’ based services like informational services (i.e. request using USSD Shortcodes)

  • News, Sports updates
  • Currency updates
  • Ticket Purchases being a very common use of USSD.
  • Call centres using USSD (replacing IVR (Voice Support)).

Disadvantages of using USSD for your Messaging

  • USSD can resource heavy; meaning increased load on the channels between the MSC and the HLR. However, these resources are more efficiently utilised in USSD than to SMS which means increased traffic on the channels between the MSCs and the HLR.
  • No delivery reports are provided with USSD unlike with SMS.


The future of USSD Messaging?
New innovative services are starting to gain popularity across social networking, USSD gaming and gambling and other forms of mobile entertainment.

USSD has large growth potential especially across the link between mobile billing; that is to make a mobile transaction when in a USSD session, quickly and securely.

Understanding the limits of IVR (voice) and SMS is important. USSD offers so much to look at with its speed and flexibility, it is not to be overlooked anymore.

You can start to use this innovative messaging offering by connecting to our USSD Gateway.

Common questions we often get asked are within the common overlap and synergy between HLR Lookup and Bulk SMS, including how to make Bulk SMS messaging more successful.

The Home Location Register (HLR) is the database of mobile subscribers for the mobile network in question.  It also keeps track of the user’s location on the mobile network, (or another mobile network if ‘roaming’ - Virtual Location Register) so incoming calls and messages can be routed through the correct tower.

With high number portability rates worldwide, it has become difficult to deliver precise SMS to these mobile numbers, because SMS messages are sent on the first network and it fails delivery. This has lead to the use of HLR Lookup for Bulk SMS, something that at txtNation we are very informative about.


HLR Lookup allows you to identify numbers ported to another network (MNP) and any invalid numbers.
Where number portability is high in some markets across the world, HLR increases in value even further.


Virtual Location Register
The Virtual Location Register is a database which contains information about all the mobile subscribers which are currently located in the proximity of the MSC. A new record in the VLR is served when a new mobile subscriber is detected in the MSC’s serving area. txtNation have recently added the VLR component to our HLR API options (see below).

Read more on our Virtual Location Register options.


HLR Lookup is available for all operators globally via the txtNation gateway. Our HLR platform delivers results rapidly and accurately through HTTP and XML API. As time has gone, there is more mobile portability customers than ever before and as a direct result HLR Lookup has now become a fundamental tool for Bulk SMS messaging.

Take a look at our HLR API on our Wiki.

Begun back in 2006 by all five of the UK mobile network operators ((MNOs) – 3UK, O2; Orange: T-Mobile; and Vodafone, Payforit is an instant mobile payment system. All UK networks are supported, including virtual (MVNO) operators like Tesco, Lebara and Virgin. In fact, any UK mobile number (which starts with 07x) can use Payforit.

Read more about txtNation’s Payforit instant mobile payment system.

Source: Gomonews.

When: Wednesday March 20th 4pm GMT (30 mins)
Webcast: Webinar – Monetising Mobile Apps with Operator Billing.

txtNation discuss mCommerce with Mobile Apps.
“Making Sense of Mobile Apps”


Discussion Key Topics will include:

i) Direct Operator Billing availability from the networks and what we are doing in this regard. Supporting DOB as a business.
ii) Other mobile billing options using other billing flows. e.g. MSISDN  forwarding, Payforit, WyWallet.
iii) How Mobile messaging works alongside Mobile Billing / payments with examples.


Kidspotter Case Study

Kidspotter - txtNation

Country: US, Spain

Service Type: Two-way, Non-Premium SMS (Short Code), Bulk SMS

Product: txtNation Gateway SMS API Connectivity

Two-Way SMS

Kidspotter required a partner that provided a robust SMS Gateway, that could facilitate Mobile Messaging for their core services. After extensive research and testing, they chose txtNation.

Course of Action

txtNation are enabling KidSpotter to allow parents to register via SMS to tie the phone in with their revolutionary wrist device. If a child is lost then parents can simply send a text message to the txtNation powered SMS Short-Code which instantly alerts them or the venue.

Added to this innovative offering, is an extra security mechanism where a boundary alert via SMS is sent to the parent when the child leaves the area. KidSpotter locating is achieved by children simply wearing a small, lightweight watch like device.


So far this solution in collaboration with txtNation anchoring the SMS Messaging has been deployed in major theme parks operated by industry leaders, including SeaWorld Entertainments and Parques Reunidos.

Andrew Dunne, Director of KidSpotter says “The partnership with txtNation into our platform is very important as SMS communication is the tool that allows the parent to locate the Spotter being worn by the child through their phone. When choosing a partner, it was vital for us to work with a company with a global reach and have direct connectivity with multiple operators and txtNation very much fits that bill.”

For more information on this service or to contact txtNation about other similar Case Studies, please visit our contact page.

Texttaxi Case Study


Country: UK

Service Type: Two-way, Non-Premium SMS (Short Code), Bulk SMS

Product: txtNation Gateway SMS API Connectivity

Two-Way SMS

txtNation was approached by Texttaxi who needed a messaging solution for their new venture in aiding people to find a taxi quickly using their mobile handset. txtNation was the natural answer for their needs.

Course of Action

Texttaxi allows people to text the word ‘TAXI’ and the name of their town to a shortcode. In return, they get a message back listing taxi firms and contact numbers in their area, pulling the information from a database.  Travel arrangements can be made with little fuss.


This service is also available online and will give users a directory of local taxi firms. This service has been a boon to natives and tourists alike who need to make travel arrangements quickly and easily. Texttaxi discovered a new way to generate revenue seamlessly because of the flexibility of the txtNation platform and the professionalism and market-leading knowledge of txtNation.

For more information on this service or to contact txtNation about other similar Case Studies, please visit our contact page.