Is Bulk SMS Business In Nigeria Crashing?

Bulk SMS entered the Nigerian market with a big bang. It became the newest make money online song and I wrote about it in my post  Bulk SMS Reseller In Nigeria. As competition in the market for bulk sms intensified, I was greatly amused and I wrote another article pointing out that using price as basis for competition is not a healthy thing. You can read the article, Bulk SMS Reseller Price War. As at today, it seems the story has changed. It seems the Bulk SMS market in Nigeria is collapsing. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Bulk Sms Reselling

Bulk Sms

I am not a Bulk SMS reseller. But I’m a heavy user of bulk SMS. I subscribed to one of the most reliable bulk SMS reseller and I have been enjoying their service until recently when I noticed that my sent messages were not getting delivered. I thought it was just a hitch in their system, so I went online and chatted with one of their representative.

Well, I was treated to a very good customer service and I thought that the situation will be rectified. Unfortunately, a week after, the same situation is still persisting. Over 60 percent of the messages I sent doesn’t get delivered and that was really embarrassing.

I was actually thinking of switching to another reseller because I was loosing money. Every time a message sent is not delivered, I loose the money spent on sending the message while at the same time I suffer the embarrassment of intended recipient of such message calling that they never got the message. That is not good for an entrepreneur like me. So I made up my mind to switch to another reseller. But the question on my mind was, which of the myriad of bulk sms reseller parading themselves as the best solution provider in the market should I subscribe to?

Should I join the bandwagon and become  a bulk sms reseller myself? After giving it a thought, I decided that I’m not ready for sms reseller business. I already have my hand full for now. I believe in giving my best in whatever I lay my hands on. Since I don’t have the time to commit to the business of reselling sms, then there is no point going into it for now. My good name is my greatest asset. So the option left is to subscribe to another bulk sms reseller.

Well, while searching for the best provider to subscribe to, I discovered that I’m not the only one complaining about undelivered messages. Some of my friends are complaining also. And funny enough, we subscribed to different bulk sms resellers. So that showed me that it wasn’t only my provider that was having hitches with their services, many more in the bulk sms business are experiencing the same.

Now, someone suggested that GSM operators in Nigeria are responsible for the undelivered messages! How true is that? Whenever, I send messages from my phone using the GSM operators (I have 3lines, MTN, Glo and Etisalat) the messages get delivered. However, when I send bulk SMS to the same operators some get delivered, while some don’t get delivered. A friend suggested that the GSM operators are sabotaging the business of bulk sms reseller. That sound ridiculous to me. But could it be true? There are too many questions and little comforting answers.

What has been your experience as a user of  Bulk SMS in the past one month? Do you have answer to the questions raised above? Kindly say in a comment. You might save a business by doing so. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

63 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Asma Shaikh says:

    Hi,

    Greetings for the day! We RouteSms Solutions Limited provides Bulk SMS which has tie-ups with 27 international SMSC covering most of the countries in the world, Bulk sms & sms gateways to our clients who are into Marketing, Advertising and Event organizing who are looking sms as tool for informing customers about their products, events and social gathering they can Send sms for mass marketing, promos, and advertisement of their products and services. For invitations, reminders, Seasonal greetings. Invite short listed candidates for chats, tests, interviews etc.

    The RouteSMS Solution is a Software development and BulkSMS Provider. 1) Our own desktop application freely downloadable from our website.
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    Please reply with the names of the countries you are interested for sending bulk SMS to help you further. Mail id: asma.shaikh@routesms.com

    Please come ONLINE on MSN Chat Id: asma.shaikh@routesms.com, Yahoo Chat Id: asma_routesms@yahoo.com, Skype: asma_routesms

    • stankey says:

      i would like to get a script for sending Bulk sms, but i heard that the mobile operators tend to frustrate these gateways

      But am a Little savvy about the right hard that will be required,would you mine getting back to me on my site
      nairawebhosts.com i will be glad if you did,

      Any thanks Admin for this Post really Enjoyed reading it.

      Hope to check back again when i have 5 min,spare

  2. This bulk SMS thingie seems to be a common factor in developing countries with a lot of population. It’s in a messy state in India as well. Mobile carriers charge big time for texting packages and the TV soaps and sports shows cash in big time by alluring millions to text in there by making bucks for them as well as telecom companies.

    As for mass marketing SMS list, I guess it’s done only by one or two companies. One may not be able to directly purchase/resell them in our country. Good related article though.
    Ajith Edassery´s last blog post ..Google Sniper

  3. Leke Ojikutu says:

    Bulk sms is still very lucrative in Nigeria for those who host themselves. Some GSM operators in Nigeria are actually sabotaging the Bulk SMS business and a particular carrier with a very large market share has even increased the cost of delivering messages to their network from international routes. I have tried about four different international routes and all are singing the same song about our GSM operators sabotaging their delivery efforts.
    All seems to be ok for now though as prompt delivery is restored.

    If you are thinking of starting an sms business, it is worthwhile to consider hosting and controlling your own sms portal rather than just become a blind reseller that wont be able to change his provider if they fail to deliver.

    To own a bulk sms portal with just $33 (N5,000) and host your site, own & control your database, change providers and API as you like, become SMS giant with our BULK SMS Joomla component. Try a demo at sms.afrisoft.org
    Stop paying for BULK SMS Training, we give it free and also give our manuals free. Get the manuals at sms.afrisoft.org. mail: info@afrisoft.org
    or call +2347098126677

  4. NaijaEcash says:

    I was just told by my SMS reseller that MTN is dealing with them. They are unable to deliver messages meant for MTN subscribers. I’m sure if this trend continues, it will deal a death blow to the local SMS reselling business. Maybe the GSM Operators are not happy about the competition the bulk sms reseller pose to them.

    • Emeka Aniakor says:

      If really that is true, then NCC is sleeping. Its their responsibilty to ensure that such oppresive and unhealthy strategies/tactics are not applied in the industry. They are to provide protection for Small businesses

      I manage bulk sms for my church and am yet to notice such trend pronounced. Maybe I should put more effort in monitoring the service

  5. Mk Akan says:

    Tony,
    I don’t really use these bulk sms servcies but if what you say is true then that would be very sad…

    it is not a good way to compete…at all
    Mk Akan´s last blog post ..Free Online Business Idea For Nigerians And Anyone -Your Local Town Website

    • NaijaEcash says:

      Bros, what do you use? I’m very serious about what I wrote in the post. Here is the message I received from my Bulk SMS operator today:

      Dear Valued Customer, This is to inform you that we are still experiencing repeated delivery issues to MTN Nigeria destinations. The network provider has implemented a strict filter on incoming traffic that does not allow alphanumeric sender IDs to be used. We are working extra hard on resolving the issue with MTN Nigeria while closely monitoring the situation as it further develops. As soon as the problem is fixed, we will update you accordingly. Once again, we apologize for any inconveniences this might have caused you. Signed Management

      I guess they think that is enough to compensate for the wasted money and embarrassment we subscribers have suffered. 🙁

  6. Stevo says:

    just Came across this site from Google and it since kind of interesting to me. a lot of discussion and lots of comments, anyway

    i was thinking of starting up a bulk sms site,but i would have
    preferred selling if there are affiliate programs

    so i can sell their services for a cut.

    I have purchased a domain name that is ranking for the keyword in Google
    and am just collecting leads, give out a free eBook on how to start the same
    business and some col service i can render them.

    I would want to know if their is any site that offers some sort of
    affiliate program for bulk sms.

    thanks

  7. Legend says:

    We provide quality sms service. It’s true that MTN introduced a filter, but that was in a bid to increase the price of bulk sms. Visit our site, we have no delivery problems as we have sorted ourselves out with MTN, and we still deliver with alphanumeric sender ids… All this @ the best rates ever….u can get ur sms for as low as N1.00k…
    Visit plegendsms.com or call 08063931313 or 08098931313
    Thank You

  8. NaijaEcash says:

    The situation has not improved at all. I wanted to subscribe to another bulk SMS reseller but I was confronted with a note they pasted on their website. It states as follows:

    We regret to inform you that we are currently experiencing repeated delivery issues on the Nigerian MTN network. According to our internal investigation, the network has implemented a strict filter on incoming traffic, one that does not allow alphanumeric sender ID to be used.
    To ensure delivery under such conditions, we will be automatically changing all senders for incoming traffic to a randomly generated numeric value. We are working hard with MTN on mitigating the issue, while closely monitoring the situation as it further develops. As soon as we have additional information regarding this change, we’ll update you accordingly. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please let us know if you have further questions.

    That simply confirm the fact that MTN is up to something, and unfortunately, we the subscribers are the ones paying! 🙁

  9. Kindly reconsider this attitude of hiding all dates of blog posts and comments. It’s impossible to put the comments into proper context in the absence of dates. I don’t think whatever benefit you derive from hiding dates can outweigh the importance of your audience making sense of your content.

    • NaijaEcash says:

      Thanks for the feedback. It was an experiment I did sometime ago and I messed up the code of my theme. A poor performance on my part I must admit. I’ll see what I can do to repair this before this week runs out. Cheers.

  10. Cadouri says:

    Hello Naija,

    In my opinion, the bulk SMS business is a very good and profitable thing. I agree with that friend of yours, that the GSM business may be sabotaging the bulk SMS business – it isn’t fair nor ethical but that’s the way it is. I wish you good luck for solving the problem!

    Victor Cadouri

  11. I think it will be a very poor judgment to conclude that because a network was not delivering messages for a period of time means the industry is crashing. It appears like concluding that the world’s internet is down because Google servers cannot serve web pages for a period of time. Thus, I think the title of the article has elements of emotions attached with it. And I can assure that some providers are working day and night to resolve these issues.

    I can assure you that mobile technology, mobile marketing, mobile “whatevers”, etc have come to stay. With bulk messaging now being integrated with more and more applications, the growth of bulk messaging in Nigeria is still in its infancy. And with more policies now coming up in Nigeria, the better days are ahead.

    And I need to add that many people think of Bulk Messaging technology as a “Get-Rich-Quick-Scheme”. Bulk messaging is like every other job, career, industry, business establishment, etc that requires proper planning, definite marketing objectives, strong customer support, etc. So, that some guys have said that you should make your millions while sleep through bulk sms is a big understatement.

    Long and Short:
    Is bulk sms dying? No.

    Were there challenges in deliveries in the past to MTN network? Yes, but improvements are being made by providers that mean business.

    Should you go into bulk SMS business? “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?”

    • NaijaEcash says:

      @ Oladiji. Thanks for visiting and expressing your thought.

      I don’t consider the title inappropriate because it was a question! It was not a statement of fact. It wasn’t an expression of personal opinion. It was a question asking for others opinion.

      I agree with you that Bulk Messaging Technology has come to stay. But the implementation of the technology in Nigeria is having some hitches at this present moment. I wasn’t been emotional about this. It may interest you to note that I went as far as discussing with some gateway providers outside Nigeria and they confirmed that delivering messages to MTN Nigeria has been an issue for some weeks now. They categorically told me that if I want messages delivered to MTN Nigeria with alphanumeric sender ID, I will have to pay more than the regular charges. That simply shows that MTN Nigeria is up to something. It simply bring up another question in my mind. Is MTN Nigeria trying to kill competitors (Bulk SMS Sellers)?

      Since MTN Nigeria has the highest volume of GSM subscribers in Nigeria, it is easy for them to manipulate the market by implementing some policies on their network that will frustrate competitors in the Bulk SMS business in Nigeria. NCC need to urgently look at this.

      Finally, I love your conclusion. It is quite unfortunate that some gullible Nigeria think that internet or online businesses are lazy men’s way of getting rich overnight. The truth is that it is quite the opposite. The only difference I’ve seen between online and offline enterprises is initial capital outlay. Online, you can start will very little fund. But all the hard work and tenacity required in offline business is still required online too. Else, you will only exist for a short while.

  12. Dare says:

    Are you a provider of bulksms service?. Have you been concerned about recent developments which threaten the continued existence and survival of the business in Nigeria?. Time is ripe for an association of bulk sms providers, an umbrella body to develop and regulate the practice & business of bulk sms and to fight the cause of the members.

    Let us start the journey now. Please visit http://www.nabsp.net to register as a member. We will release the road map of this association to registered members in the coming days ahead.

    Dare

  13. Obi says:

    I think it’s about time , the Nigerian Government call MTN to order, just like DSTV, these South African companies, are just interested in taking money off Nigerians.
    Why can’t Nigerians boycott them and patronise more customer sensitive companies.
    In as musch as there is free enterprise, there is such a thing as regulations

    • NaijaEcash says:

      I’m suspecting that MTN Nigeria is subtly trying to kill competition. Why is it that there own network is refusing to deliver messages from Bulk SMS providers? History of their operation in Nigeria shows that they are always insisting that services cannot be provided at a cheaper rate to Nigerians. Yet they declare great profits yearly for their operation in Nigeria. It is quite unfortunate that the NCC is not doing much to call them to order. I remember how they told us that it was impossible to implement per second billing in Nigeria. But immediately Glo rolled out service with per second billing, the same MTN followed suit without a second thought. That speaks volume of their attitude towards their subscribers.

  14. bon says:

    Thank you very much for this piece of info, i am blessed. You ve done well. Once again, thank you!

  15. Dare says:

    BulkSMS is the only serious service providers without an association. Join the association of bulksms providers at http://www.nabsp.net so that we can have a common response to the issues affecting members.

    • As much as I agree that Bulk Messaging Service providers need a voice, I think it’s better that some information be available about those trying to initiate the voice.
      – ThinkingOutLoud

  16. Dare says:

    Yes, the association is open to would be bulk SMS providers.

    Thanks

  17. AMAKA says:

    http://www.emrinet.com is not affected the MTN issue, they deliver to MTN destination with Alphanumeric sender ID, But we were communicated by them today that there may be price increase later this week. Although we were communicated by Emrinet since last month that MTN might likely distort the bulk sms. I think there are lots of things we don’t know yet. I hope NCC should come into this and regulate this because this is the only business that have created means of livelihood to people.

  18. Dare says:

    I think the sender ID issue has been resolved (not by MTN). Providers have found a work around but have hinted that prices will go up on the new routes.

    That gives us time to work on this association. Remember its not going to be used to fight the likes of MTN alone. There are other benefits.

    For those asking what the association is all about and who are those behind it, well the fact is that we are at the stage where we are still gathering “would be members”. Once we have a reasonable number (say 50), we will announce a meeting to take place in Lagos and there we will formally inaugurate the association, choose the executives, identify common areas of interest, and assign roles. Once the executives are on ground, they can register the association with CAC and then steer the ship of the association.

    What are you waiting for?. Visit http://www.nabsp.net to register your bulksms business as a provider.

  19. Bulk sms is the most profitable telecommunication online business i have ever seen, I advise you try it out

  20. ginger says:

    It would seem that the MTN issue was not really resolved, but that providers had to seek alternative routes. They have not yet increased the price because they owe us the service we have already paid for. What they have done is to pay more for an alternative route while absorbing the extra cost. I bet that when next you want to replenish your stock of bulk sms, they will ask you to pay more. Am I right?

  21. AMAKA says:

    I learnt the MTN proplem has started again, I think most sms portal have been affected again. this is a serious issue, because we also learnt that NCC have given directives to all GSM operators to install filters into their networks against unsolicited sms.
    what do we do guys

    • NaijaEcash says:

      Yes, the problem is on again. Only that this time around it seems worse. Even when you fill in a GSM number as the Sender ID, the number gets replaced with some random digits when been submitted.
      It make rubbish of the whole idea of marketing with bulk sms. Some people are claiming that NCC is responsible for the filter introduced by MTN, while some claim it is the communication giants subtle strategy to kill competition.
      Time will tell 🙁

  22. Niyi says:

    I think Varsoft SMS is the best. Very simple, lovely features and great quality of service. You should try it, sms.varsoftng.com

  23. Ojochidem says:

    Bulk SMS business in Nigeria is not dying but has come to stay because the use of Bulk SMS cannot be outlived. All that is needed by variuos providers and resellers is focus and resilience as every business has its ups and downs. As per the MTN SENDER ID problem, kudisms.com has overcome that problem. We deliver to the MTN network with CUSTOM Sender IDs. Our services are cheap and affordable as customeers have the liberty to buy as low as 100units of SMS at N1.50k/SMS. We also offer lower prices for bulk purchases.
    Ojochidem´s last blog post ..Home

  24. I don’t think so. The business seems viable till date

  25. Godswill says:

    Bulk Sms business is the most lucrative business i have seen overtime, am saying this due to profits i have made from my own bulk sms website, sms2naija.com.ng. but MTN is More greedy this days that they have distorted my bulk sms alphabetical messaging platform.
    i pray this be resolved as my customers are complaining bitterly what do i do since am a reseller na, i just have to be disturbing my reseller platform hosters.
    God help us out of This Greedy network operators.
    Godswill´s last blog post ..How To Get A Free Payoneer Mastercard Legally With 3 Years Validity

  26. Paul says:

    The bulksms thing is a worry but an even bigger worry is that the Telcos are hitting content providers below the belt by taking as much as 70% of revenue from the content providers. A project I’m working on has to go through payment by subtracting from a users mobile phone and letting these guys go away with more than 70% is plain bad business.

  27. makemoneyngr says:

    My bulk sms provider had an issue with MTN as they were not delivering messages sent to MTN numbers as well as CDMA numbers. I think the GSM operators are out to kill the business of the bulk sms providers.

    Now MTN has recently introduced their own bulk sms service.
    makemoneyngr´s last blog post ..Five [5] sure ways to drive traffic to your blog

    • NaijaEcash says:

      Really, MTN has introduced Bulk SMS? I’m not aware of that. But it is bad business practice to attempt to kill the competition. It is unfortunate that NCC is not helping matter.

  28. Joel says:

    Please can anyone give my hint on how much it will cost me to have my own sms website not as a reseller but as a provider.

    • ginger says:

      Hi Joel, More than “how much”, I would first like to be sure you understand what it is you are requesting. By provider, you are probably thinking of having your own Resellers, right? If that is the case, you should simply sign up as a reseller with a ‘provider’, as they usually allow you to set up a limitless loop of resellers yourself.

      On the other hand, you might be referring to an “SMS Aggregator” which is a company that aggregates different sms routes (gateways). If that is what you want to do, note that you will need to set up an SMPP Server (no be beans O!). Read up these and once you’re sure what you want, I can give you some leads.

      Hope this helps. Cheers!

  29. Bolatito says:

    I never encounter problem with speedysmsalive.com they are the best for now.

  30. Idong Sam says:

    Bulksms business in Nigeria has come to stay….just give your customer reliable service and u will enjoy the business….now that they are platform that offers sms for as low as 1.30k….i mean u can tap into the business…example i sent my sms with netpowersms.com their service is simple a good for a client

  31. Isaac says:

    MTN is greedy particularly in Nigeria. That is why nigerianbulksms.com is charging 1.5 credit for MTN as agaist the other networks of 1 unit for an effective message delivery. To this end, I think it is high time we had an association for bulk sms service providers.

  32. MyPriceSMS says:

    We are giving out FREE Reseller websites at MYPRICESMS.COM. Our current price for resellers is N0.95K/SMS. Get more info at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGrnQz6Qj3g

  33. SMS ALERT NIGERIA says:

    SMS ALERT NIGERIA reseller package remain the lowest in Nigeria,resller price is 90kobo. Visit: smsalertng.com or call: 07033770367

  34. SMS ALERT NIGERIA says:

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  35. Dante says:

    I think most of the issues are resolved now, cos most bulksms sites now deliver without any issue. You can rely on ozbulksms.com for your bulk sms needs and reseller services for reasonable prices.

  36. 'Bambo says:

    Hi folks… cheapiesms.com offers the the best prices in the bulk sms market plus good reseller package too. Give us a try!

  37. Allpayable says:

    Indeed a big eye opener. NCC realy need 2 checkmate d run away south Africans. THANk God we can stil provide cheap & reliable bulk sms service without problem @ cheapbulksmsng.com cheers

  38. eBulkSMS says:

    Having subscribed to many bulk SMS services in Nigeria, we observed that there was a lack of concern shown by most of these single-run businesses for their customers.

    This is also in addition to most of their sites just being clones that fraught with defects that are similar. Messages that are sent once end up being billed twice, user interfaces that are hard to navigate on some browsers, etc.

    For this reasons we decided to set up a service for ourself – http://www.ebulksms.com. One that we would use and share with others who are willing to leave without the stress and agony of poor services.

    There are myriads of bulk SMS sites out there, but you will not find many like http://www.ebulksms.com
    Word!

  39. Marketing is all about making information reach to customer at right time. Marketing can be done in different manner.
    Whely messages´s last blog post ..Voice sms for making marketing personalize

  40. Sms is short message service is the most affordable way to stay connected with friends and family. Now marketers have started using message for their marketing and want to stay in touch with customers in better manner.
    Whely Messages´s last blog post ..Voice sms for making marketing personalize

  41. Collins says:

    Are you in the bulk-sms business but need a BETTER SERVICE PROVIDER? Send Us an Email. Call your prize and get started.

  42. Do you need to make money from bulk SMS business? Talk to us for partnership today at http://www.nigerianbulksms.com

  43. AMEH ADOGA says:

    I have been experiencing sending problems on some bulk SMS sites, some will fail to send the messages for no justifiable reason. In the course of using bulk SMS service there is one I can vouch for because it has never dissapointed me, it is 50kobo.com. Their service is indeed superb.

  44. eBulkSMS says:

    In that case there is a whole lot more of superb to see on Ebulksms http://www.ebulksms.com.
    And it’s not just for the sake of commenting, ask anyone or test it out for yourself and see.
    One word – awesomeness. and it’s all about you…

  45. Vera says:

    According to recent surveys more people prefer receiving messages via their mobile than through any other source. 75% of the world’s population uses text message servicing. With so many people with cell phone in hand, and actively using SMS messaging, you can be certain that your marketing efforts will pay off. 97% of global SMS messages are read within 5 seconds. Average response rate for SMS is 26%, as against 5% for email.
    This information gives us more reason why Bulk SMS cannot be overemphasized or under-mined in Nigeria. Multitexter.com has circumvent all issues that may arise. We deliver to all GSM networks; Glo, Airtel, Etisalat & MTN networks with CUSTOM Sender IDs. Our services are reliable, cheap and affordable. We also offer lower prices for large volumes amidst several periodic Promos.
    Click http://www.Multitexter.com/signup to get started.

  46. Hitesh says:

    Hello,

    Greetings from Way2Way Communications Pvt.Ltd

    We are Bulk SMS Aggregator with direct connectivity with most of the operator world-wide.

    Below are the feature available in our SMS portal:-

    International Platform to send SMS worldwide
    HTTP and SMPP connection Available
    Get free API and demo account to test our service
    Get an in depth analysis of your sent SMS log
    Multi Level Reseller platform available
    24 x 7 Technical support available
    Exclusive price for Reseller having high volume
    Customized API available
    Providing White Label Reseller Platform which enables to send sms through Desktop application, Websms, Blackberry ,Android as well as for Symbian phones,Excel plugin and Http api. and you can
    Send Greetings, Fast Timetable, wishes etc.

    Kindly add me in Skype: hitesh.way2way or yahoo: hitesh.way2way or your WHATSAPP NUMBER
    so that i can provide you account for LIVE testing bulk sms service to your destination countries.

    Feel free to contact me for more information, I would be glad to help you any time.

    Regards
    Hitesh
    hitesh.patel@way2txtsms.com,

  47. vedaghar says:

    With Bulk SMS you can easily promote your business products and services to targeted customers in short time.This will give huge benefits to your business.Thank you.

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