South Africa’s mobile messaging services industry to get a shake up

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South Africa’s mobile services industry is apparently getting a shake up. According to Panacea Mobile, a mobile a services company, 40% of SMS campagins sent to customers fail to deliver due to incorrect or out-dated information. Since companies can send millions of messages in a month, the cost for these undelivered messages can be compounded tremendously. The company aims to rectify this.

The startup claims to offer South African companies a unique number validation tool which “will take the guesswork out of mobile messages and cut down on the number of undelivered messages significantly”.

The number validation service uses a process called HLR lookup that basically ‘pings’ each mobile number to ensure that it is still active and reachable. Using this service to clean a database of mobile numbers can cut SMS costs significantly, as pinging a number can cost just one-third of sending of a SMS.

“Although the service is not unique to Panacea Mobile, we noticed that no other South African companies in the space are offering their clients this service,” says CEO Stefano Sessa. “The motivation for us was to see businesses spending less money on terminating SMS messages that would not deliver, and increase the quality of their customer databases, thereby also decreasing their total mobile marketing costs.”

Customers can upload a spreadsheet of numbers to Panacea Mobile’s online dashboard and the system then returns the results in the same format, broken down by successes and failures. Sessa warns that any mobile database older than six months should really be considered for cleaning so as to avoid the wasted cost of sending to inactive numbers.

“The service to our customers is a first in South Africa, although the technology has been around for some time already. As far as we are aware, and we have conducted a lot of research, no other South African business in the space offers this service as an easy to use online tool,” says Stefano Sessa.

This industry is already saturated in South Africa with companies like Bulk SMS and Clickatell, who offer similar services.

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