RALEIGH, N.C. — Bandwidth today announced new messaging capabilities that include an industry first: multimedia messaging service-enabling phone numbers for over-the-top (OTT) voice and messaging apps. Bandwidth is also announcing full support for short-code communication with Bandwidth phone numbers, and the availability of SMS-enabled toll-free phone numbers for software providers, helping businesses text-enable their communications with consumers.
OTT voice and messaging apps have exploded in popularity, with more than one billion users globally. However, despite the growth, they have not become true replacements for traditional wireless phone services, due to the absence of two critical messaging features that users expect and demand:
- Send and receive MMS-enabled messages to users of other devices or services. Traditionally, OTT users only have access to phone numbers that are SMS-enabled, not MMS, prohibiting them from sending picture or video messages to users of other messaging services. Today, Bandwidth can make voice and messaging apps work the way that consumers expect them to, becoming the first company to be able to provide its voice and messaging app customers with MMS-enabled phone numbers.
- Send and receive messages containing short-codes. Carriers and application providers now have the ability for their subscriber base to opt-in to short-code campaigns, so that users can receive alerts or send messages on communications such as website security alerts, airline alerts, weather alerts, package deliveries or bank transactions. Historically, OTT messaging apps couldn’t receive these alerts, dissuading users from considering these apps as their primary communication service. Bandwidth phone numbers will now capable of being enabled to send and receive these messages, which help app providers truly compete for an alternative to traditional wireless phone services.
For software and service providers helping businesses with their communications using toll-free phone numbers, there was a similar problem, the absence of being able to send and receive messages with toll-free phone numbers. With more than 40 million toll-free numbers in existence today, up to 80 percent of consumers demand the ability to send SMS messages for a greater degree of interaction with businesses. The end result for companies is greater customer service, longer brand conversations and a new degree of two-way communication between consumer and company.
Bandwidth makes these new services available for app developers and communication service providers through both APIs and protocols like SMPP, allowing growing companies with a wide variety of technical experience and needs to get the benefit of working directly with a national carrier like Bandwidth.