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Bandwidth Releases New Messaging Capabilities, Helping OTT Apps and Software Companies Become True Competitors for Traditional Wireless Phone Services

Bandwidth, one of the nation’s leading communications technology companies, today announced new messaging capabilities that include an industry first, MMS-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 over one billion users globally. However, despite the growth, they have not become true competitors 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. Bandwidth will be helping 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 will also 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 be capable of sending and receiving these messages, which helps 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. Consumers love text messaging and want to do more than make calls to toll-free phone numbers. From responding to advertisements, scheduling appointments or talking to customer support, the convenience and simplicity of text messaging is often preferred by consumers. 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.

“For the first time in their history, OTT providers are truly poised to compete with traditional carriers,” said Steve Leonard, EVP and General Manager at Bandwidth. “Up to this point, the missing link was their ability to deliver standard messaging functions that users demand. We’re proud to usher in a new era of services and opportunities for many of the most disruptive providers in the communications industry.”

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.

To learn more or sign up for Bandwidth’s messaging program, please visit http://www.bandwidth.com/messaging.

About Bandwidth

Bandwidth is among the nation's largest and fastest-growing communication technology companies. The company operates two divisions – wholesale & enterprise and consumer & SMB – that share a mission of transforming the communications industry. Across the divisions, Bandwidth provides a full range of communications services, including voice origination, termination and toll free; a full suite of 9-1-1 services; SMS solutions; SIP Trunking; hosted VoIP for SMBs; and a consumer wireless business. Founded in 1999, and a certified CLEC in 49 states, Bandwidth is a profitable company headquartered in Raleigh, NC with a large remote office in Denver, CO and field offices in eight other cities.

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