Unlimited SMS

The previous two posts illustrated how using SIM cards with an unlimited text plan on an SMS gateway device can drive bulk SMS costs down in orders of magnitude. Since I think continuing to show this country by country is repetitive and will get boring in a hurry, I’d like instead to mention a few things to take note of when looking for unlimited text plans if you are considering purchasing an SMS gateway.

  • You will probably be able to find a few unlimited text plans by different MNOs or MVNOs in your country (or whatever country you intend the SMS gateway to be located at to deliver the texts and receive the responses). Take your time to compare the various plan prices and offerings. ¬†Although you can also purchase voice features with your SMS gateway (that give you the option of sending recorded messages and even conducting automated voice surveys), if you don’t intend to use these features and only conduct your campaign or survey by SMS then you should also target unlimited text plans which have little voice minutes, as they will be cheaper and you won’t be needing the voice features anyway.


  • Pay attention to the small print in the contract. Unlimited text plans are a nice sales pitch, but it isn’t really what you get. You will usually find some “fair use” clause that limits the actual monthly amount of SMS that you can send using the SIM without incurring costs for going over that limit. From what I’ve seen, this limit is usually in the 3000 SMS ballpark, but your mileage may vary. Make sure you understand this limit or any other small print limits the network operator has regarding the plan.


  • Even if you want to send an SMS campaign in a country where no mobile network operator offer an unlimited text plan, you can usually find a solution by being a bit creative. For example, to the best of my knowledge, there is currently no unlimited text plan offered by any of the MNOs in Mexico. However, there are many operators in the US that offer unlimited text plans to Mexico. So placing your SMS gateway in the US will enable you to get a great deal for bulk SMS campaigns to target audience in Mexico.


As for finding these plans – as they say, “Google is your friend”. Just search for “unlimited text” or “unlimited text plan” (including the quotes) followed by the name of the country where you want your SMS campaign to be made and make your choice based on the guidelines I’ve mentioned above.

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