Billing

How am I billed for my SIP trunk?

Each time a call ends, the charge of the call is recorded against your account. Each month you'll receive an invoice to pay for the calls.

You'll receive notifications when the amount gets to a certain percentage against the bond (75%, 50%, 25% and 10%). You can increase the bond size at any time by raising a support ticket. If the amount gets to 0% against the bond, the service may be disconnected (as agreed via the contract).

CDR

To get your call data record (CDR), go to the following page and log in with your username and password. Changing YYYY to the year (e.g. 2018) and MM to the month (e.g. 08).

https://gw.aql.com/sip-sonus/cdr.php?&year=YYYY&month=MM

How do I get a copy of an invoice?

You can get a copy of your invoice(s) at portal.aql.com.

Log in to your account, go to 'History' (top right hand corner), then 'Order History', then click 'View Invoice' on any of your invoices.

What are the peak hours with aql?

aql's off peak and on peak hours are similar to most other providers.

Monday to Friday
On peak: 08:00 to 18:00
Off peak: 18:00 to 08:00

Weekend
Very off peak: 00:00 Saturday to 23:59 Sunday

Note: Very off peak is for SIP trunk customers only

What does 'Error 502' mean when I'm paying online?

If you receive this error then your payment has been passed onto our accounts team to verify. Please note that you must use the exact address details registered to your card, as printed on your statements.

General

How do I unsubscribe from the newsletter or service announcements?

We hope you find our newsletters and service announcements useful - we find they're the best way of keeping you updated with the latest news and updates to our systems and processes.

If however, you'd like to unsubscribe from either, please visit the 'Account Setup' page of the portal here. You'll find two tick boxes:

  • Inform me about service affecting issues
  • Send me the aql newsletter

Untick the relevant boxes and click' Update Account Details'.

If you would like a reminder of your login details, our password reminder function can be found here.

In the event you have any problems logging into your account, please submit an email enquiry, including the email address you would like to remove, and we'll update our systems at the earliest convenience and confirm to you that this has been completed.

What is aql's support and escalation procedure?

We've put together the following support and escalation policy which highlights key topics such as how to contact us, fault and failure reporting, target Response & Fix Times, Escalation Contacts, Cancellation of services, Complaints, Data protection and the Escalation of complaints via Ombudsman Services.

What is URL encoding?

URL encoding is the system of converting HTML symbols (e.g. <, & and /) into hexadecimal symbols so they can be parsed without being confused for parameters or markup symbols. Each is preceded by a % symbol. For example:

  • & - %26
  • / - %2F
  • < - %3C

Telecoms

How do I enable voicemail detection?

Use option amd=1 to attempt to do voicemail detection. Please be aware that this may not work with all voicemail systems.

How does a shared short code work?

The way we determine who gets the inbound traffic to a shared short code is based on the first word in the text message.

This first word is called a "keyword". When you sign up for the aql shared short code service, you are allowed up to 10 keywords. These keywords are assigned on a first come, first served basis.

By default your account will simply store any SMS which arrive inbound to your keyword.

Note: If you choose info responder or info email, this will send back an SMS to the original sender which will be billed to them at the premium billing rate of the code you have chosen, e.g.:

  • 64446
  • 83010
  • 85010
  • 82010
How memorable is your short code?

The short code we use is 64446. Simple!

How quick can this be set up?

Generally, the legal paperwork takes 2-3 working days. Following that, simply "reply" type services can be set up within minutes.

Developers wanting to set up their own systems can use our HTTP API, details of which can be found here.

Will aql offer any guidance regarding the legal processes associated with premium rate services?

The premium rate watchdog in the UK is ICSTIS. We offer guidance for all customers and also introduce clients to ICSTIS for further guidance as and when required. ICSTIS are always happy to help advise clients on the legality of any premium rate service and we try our utmost to ensure that our clients follow their recommendations.

Mobile

How do I set up a bulk SMS campaign?

Our systems allow you to import your list of numbers easily. Once the numbers are imported you can save them as a distribution list and choose to send to them straight away or schedule a message for delivery at a certain time/date.

Check our web to SMS - Send Bulk SMS tutorial here.

How do I set up my website to serve WAP files?

If you want to serve WAP files, you need to upload a .htaccess file with the following information:

AddType text/vnd.wap.wml wml
AddType image/vnd.wap.wbmp wbmp

Other useful file types you may like to include are:

AddType image/bmp bmp
AddType image/pjpeg jpg
AddType image/jpeg jpg
AddType image/gif gif
AddType audio/midi mid
AddType audio/sp-midi mid
AddType audio/iMelody imy
AddType audio/eMelody emy
AddType text/x-vmel mel

How will my mobile number be formatted?

When entering telephone numbers, our software will recognise the prefix that you have used, and where necessary will alter this to aid delivery.

  • Number begins with a single zero - this is assumed to be a UK telephone number and will have the 0 replaced by 44.
    eg. 0771 becomes 44771
  • Number begins with double zero - this is assumed to be in international format already and the leading 00 will be dropped.
    eg. 0044771 remains 44771
  • Number begins without a zero - we will assume your number is already in international format and will not be altered for you.
What is a "ported" number?

A ported number is a number which has a prefix relating to the original network, yet has been moved to a new network.

For example, an 07766 (vodafone) number may have been moved to the "orange" network.

Some SMS routes determine where to send the messages based on the prefix of the number. In such cases, the message would be incorrectly routed.

Most of our messages are routed using an HLR database (this is a "home location register") which is a database of mobile numbers and destination networks.

However, the HLR can take some time to get new information on newly ported numbers. Sometimes we have to change the routing on your account in order to reach newly ported numbers.

If you are experiencing problems sending to ported numbers, please let us know.

What is a push proxy gateway?

A push proxy gateway is a gateway which allows a user to send a WAP-push notification to a mobile phone.

Sending a WAP-push notification consists of a special header which tells the phone that it is a WAP-push message. There is a second portion of the message which contains the URL from which the phone can download content.

Relevant keywords: WAP access, WAP push, push proxy gateway, PPG.

Where can I find a list of mobile prefixes?

You can find these either here (excel format). Or via the Ofcom website.

If you need to check which provider a number is with, you can do so via our Network Lookup tool.

Connectivity

How do I connect to you via SMPP?

We would recommend an http to SMPP forwarder (proxy-type application) such as Kannel. See kannel.org for more info.

Technical information on the SMPP protocol and specification can be found here.

Technical information on the sms2email SMPP interface and specification can be found here.

How do I get an SMPP account?

SMPP is the protocol used to achieve high volume fast messaging.

Opening an SMPP account and connecting to our SMPP gateway involves 3 steps.

  1. Signing of our Acceptable Use Policy (contact us).
  2. Connection to our trial gateway. This is necessary because it is easy for you to get the wrong settings - this can impinge upon the performance of our gateway and slow down other clients messages, so we first allow connection to our trial gateway to make sure that our systems are compatible.
  3. Going live. Connection to our live gateway, allowing fast reliable messaging and reporting.
How do I know where to connect to?

The power of soap means that you would not normally need to know the Gateway (SOAP endpoint) details. The communication between your systems and our Gateways is handled automatically when your classes are generated. The location of the SOAP endpoint can easily be found from the WSDL file.

HTTP POST gateway - Explained

To give you a better idea on our HTTP post gateway, try copy and paste the following into your web browser (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer) after replacing:

with your aql username
with your aql password
with the destination phone number
with the originating phone number

http://gw.aql.com/sms/postmsg.php?username=&password=&to_num=&orig=&message=test

Please have a look at our documentation: Legacy API

HTTPPOST/HTTPGET Concatenated Messages Gateway - Explained
Info regarding our normal gateway (which support the same variables to our concatenated ones) can be find here: Legacy API Apart from our normal gateway, we now have: http://gw.aql.com/sms/postmsg-concat.php and http://gw.aql.com/sms/postmsg-concat-multiple.php Both of these gateways are able to send messages which are longer than 160 characters. They have one extra variable called maxconcat. This variable (an integer) is used to limit the amount of messages you would like to send. So that you do not use up more credit than you intended to. There are few things you need to note. Concatenated messages requires a header to identify which message comes before the other, time of sending, id, etc. This extra information takes up the space for nine characters. Therefore a two-part concatenated message could only contain 151 x two characters as opposed to 160 x two. Also some special characters take up two spaces.
What are web services?

Web services are web-based enterprise applications that use open, XML-based standards and transport protocols to exchange data with calling clients. Most applications use the SOAP protocol to transmit the data.

What is a WSDL file?

A WSDL file is an XML-based file which describes the web service. It is used by applications (such as C#, Java, VB.NET, C++) to automatically generate classes that can be used instantly to send SMS messages. It can be thought of as a blueprint for a class. WSDL files are not generally meant for human consumption but they can help you understand the process.

What is SOAP?

SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. It is an XML-based communication protocol for applications. SOAP provides a way to communicate between applications running on different operating systems, with different technologies and programming languages.

What services does aql provide via SOAP?

For a full guide on the services available via the web service, please see the SOAP developer guide. This provides a link to the WSDL file and also describes the service in detail.

Why use SOAP?

Soap is language and platform independent. This means it allows developers to build applications using language and environments they already know. Coupled with the fact that classes can be produced automatically by these environments (like .NET) , SOAP lends itself well to Rapid Application Development (RAD).

Messaging

Can I change the originator for messages I send?

Yes, you can set the originator of outgoing messages from your sms2email account. When logged into your account, on the green menu click "setup >> set message originator".

You can set the originator to be a "normal" mobile by entering the number as "447xxxxxxxxx" - when your message is received it will be treated as if it were sent from a mobile of that number. Mobile originators can be up to 16 characters in length.

Alternatively, you can set the originator to alphanumeric characters, such as your name or the name of your business. Alpha-numeric originators are restricted to 11 characters.

Can I only send normal Text Messages via the Web Service?

No, you can send normal SMS messages to multiple destinations. You can also make use of multi-part messaging via the web service. There is an interface to send Binary SMS messages, Wap Push messages and also MMS notifications. Further details can be found in the SOAP Developer Guide.

Can I run more than one copy of the Desktop SMS application at any one time?

Yes. You can install as many copies on as many PCs as you wish. You can use the same username and password in each copy.

Can I send an SMS to a Landline?

If you are using our premium(uk) or premium(global) service, then you can send messages to BT landlines.

It is important to note that text messages with non-number originator (ie. alphanumeric originator eg. "my company") would be rejected by BT landlines.

If you would like to send messages to landline which does not support SMS, then we provide an email to speech service.

Can I send SMS to the US (United States)?

Sending SMS to the USA has become very difficult as of January 2005.

This is because the US carriers are now imposing restrictions on who can send content into their networks.

In order to send SMS into a US network, you first need to apply for a dedicated shortcode (Which aql.com can "host").

Can I send WAP push to America?

Yes and no. Please contact us on 0800 389 5815 to discuss your requirements.

Can I skip the Announcement Message?

If you do not wish your customers to hear the "Please listen carefully to the following text message" announcement, you can set this by adding the option skipintro=1.

Do I need to use 00 at the start of an International SMS?

No, for example message to the UK mobile 07778123456 you would remove the leading zero and add the country code (44).

Thus the number would be 447778123456.

Different Types Of Codes

There are different codes that are used in telephony systems. The one most people will be familiar with is the National Direct Dialing Prefix. This is the number that is commonly used when dialing any non-local number. This is not used when dialing internationally.

In the UK it is '0' E.G. 01229 123 456.

Also familiar may be the International Direct Dialing Code. This is dialled to get access to an international number, and is followed by the Country Code.

The majority of countries use the IDD '00' (but not USA) and to dial to the UK from another country, the Country Code is '44'. E.G. To Dial to the UK from Germany, you would dial 00 44 1229 123 456.

Sending International SMS

This works in a similar way. All SMS sent via sms2email should be put in international format, even if sending to the UK.

International Format: International format is ' ' E.G. 447766404142

For more information on dialling codes, please see www.callersmart.com. This site shows a list of all country codes (e&oe).

Do you offer a Binary API?

We offer a fully configurable low-level binary interface which can be connected to via HTTP POST. The interface specifications can be found here.

How can I delete messages content?

If you want to delete your message content stored in your Outgoing Message History, go to:

https://portal.aql.com/account/sms/setup

And in the bottom most drop down menu select Delete message content.
Be aware that this setting is not applied to messages which were already sent.
You may also want to read the explanation what is actually being deleted which can be found next to the drop down menu.

How can I get Text Messages to my PC?

Simply choose an aql text-in number - each number costs just £2 per month and any texts you receive simply appear in your email inbox.

How can I receive Text Messages by email?

Simply sign up for an aql inbound SMS / aql inbound text number and then log in to the aql.com site and choose deliver SMS to email option.

Each text-in number costs just £2 per month.

How can I receive the incoming messages on a shared Shortcode?

Incoming messages can be sent to you in several ways:

  1. Via email -- to a predefined email address
  2. Via http/https POST to your own server
  3. Available as a .csv (excel compatible) download from our secure website.
How do I buy credit for my SMS account?

Log into your account and click on Buy SMS in the top right hand corner of the page.

Alternatively click on 'setup' on the green menu (in your customer account) and then select Purchase Message Credits. You can then select the number of messages you require and proceed to online payment.

Your account will be credited when we receive payment for your order - in the case of online payment this is almost immediately.

How do I clear my history?

Before you begin, please remember that if you do this, you must do so at your own risk. You need to make sure that there are no copies of desktop SMS running on your PC.

Go to the location:
C:\Program Files\Common files\(aq)\

There is a file there called store.dat.
You simply need to remove this file (either delete it or rename it).
This will remove all the message history and message replies from Desktop SMS.

How do I get delivery reports on messages I send out?

You can view the status of messages you have sent in your sms2email customer account.

Log in and click on 'history' on the green menu bar and then click on 'outgoing messages'.

Where the status of the outgoing message is 'delivered' click on 'view details' to see the time at which the delivery report was received by sms2email.

How do I get my sms2email account password?

It is sent via SMS when your account is activated.

Accounts are activated when we receive payment for the initial purchase of SMS credits.

If you have received a receipt for purchase of message credits but no SMS message containing a password please contact us.

How do I get notified if my SMS account credit is low?

Log into your account and click on:
Setup on the menu
low credit notification.
The Enable low credit checking box must be ticked.

You can specify the number of credits at which you want to be notified and the email address and/or mobile number you wish to have notification sent to.
Click Update Info to save any changes you have made. If notification is sent to a mobile number then this will be at a cost of one credit from your account.

How do I get started with sms2email?

For all of our services except sending an email via sms (sms2email) you need to have an sms2email account.

See here for details on how to sign up for an sms2email account.

How do I know what datatypes are required?

Any special datatypes specific to this gateway will automatically be generated along with the classes. Details of the parameters you will need to pass to these functions can be found here.

How do I receive MMS? (Inbound MMS)

All you need to do is login to your aql account.

Once you have logged in, click on: 'textback', followed by 'MSISDN', then'view/add keywords'.

You can add a keyword to our system which will direct MMS messages sent to 07740 404142 to your email account, or HTTP Post to a script URL that you defined.

And finally, if an MMS with your keyword in its text part should be sent to 07740 404142.

How do I record voice and SMS text messages that are sent to my number?

There are two different ways to do this.

  1. Using aql text or call - This is where you order an aql number and forward the SMS and the voice to your mobile. Any SMS and voice sent to your aql number will be recorded.
  2. SMS-enable your existing landline number and ask your customers to text you on that number.
How do I record voice and SMS text messages that are sent to my number?

There are two different ways to do this.

  1. Using aql text or call - This is where you order an aql number and forward the SMS and the voice to your mobile. Any SMS and voice sent to your aql number will be recorded.
  2. SMS-enable your existing landline number and ask your customers to text you on that number.
How do I send a Flash SMS?

If you wish to send a Flash SMS, you can do so via:

Our web site

  • log in to http://aql.com
  • Send
  • Send SMS
  • To specific mobile numbers
  • Fill in the destination and other fields as usual
  • In Step (3), please tick a "Flash Message" box
  • Complete by clicking "Send Message"

Desktop SMS

  • Just tick the "Flash Message" box in the "Send SMS" view
  • Complete by clicking "Send Message

HTTP post

  • Specify flash=1 field in your script.
How do I send an MMS?

These are the steps required to get MMS working:

  1. Get the content (images, text etc....) that you wish to send
  2. Use the content from step 1. to create and encode an MMS file
  3. Host this MMS file on a webserver that is accessible to the rest of the world. It will then have a URL something like http://yourdomain.com/mymmsfile.mms
  4. Send an MMS notification to the handset via our gateway. This is basically a binary SMS that tells the phone that an MMS is being sent to it and it needs to download the MMS. It should then connect to your webserver (usually via GPRS) and download the MMS file quietly. It will then alert you if it worked. If not then it usually does nothing.

For step 2 you will need an MMS encoder, a variety of which can be found online.

You might also need a multimedia converter for converting common multimedia files (AVI, WAV, MP3 etc.) into standard 3GPP/AMR, Wide Band and Narrow Band supported formats for use in mobile phone applications such as MMS (Multimedia Messaging).

For step 3, this would probably be straight forward for a web developer. It would simply consist of uploading the content to the webserver. You would, however, most likely have to add the following mime type to your webserver config: AddType application/vnd.wap.mms-message .mms There are other mime types that you could possibly add to your server which may prove useful. These can be found in this FAQ.

For step 4, you would need to perform a HTTP POST to our gateway.

How do I send bulk SMS via the web?

Steps

Create a distribution list

  • Log in to your aql account
  • Choose "Manage distribution lists" from the setup menu
  • Copy your mobile numbers into a distribution list. The format of the list is either one mobile number per line with no commas or: mobilenumber1,mobilenumber2,mobilenumber3, – i.e. appended by commas with no spaces
  • Paste this list of numbers into the "Mobile number list" box on site, enter a name for the list, and press 'Validate'
  • Confirm: You will be presented with the imported data and asked to confirm it appears as expected. Once you have confirmed, the distribution list will be saved for use

Send SMS text messages to your distribution list

  • Select the 'Distribution list' link from the send menu in your aql account
  • Enter the message you wish to send to your numbers
  • Specify the originator ID and a time for sending (optional)
  • Check your message and sending options and press the send messages button

Your messages will then be queued for sending, either at the time you specified, or immediately if you have not specified a time.

How do I send MMS to email?
How do I send SMS to the US?

As of the start of 2005, messaging to the US has become more difficult. This is because of the US's new stringent anti-spam policy. This pre-requires that you must have your OWN US shortcode in order to message to US destinations.

This requirement means that all content can be tracked back to the individual or organisation that sent it.

How do I set up a mobile to SMS e-burst distribution list?

Designed to be as easy to access and efficient as possible, all you need is an unique aql telephone number, which will be linked to a list of recipients that you would have provided for us in your aql account. Any SMS text messages you send to this number will then be forwarded to all the recipients numbers in the associated list.

Steps

Choose a telephone number

Choose a new aql number or select an existing one from your telecoms control panel.

Create a distribution list

  • Log in to your aql account
  • Choose "Manage distribution lists" from your setup menu
  • Select "Add" to create a new distribution list
  • Copy your mobile numbers into a distribution list - The format of the list is either one mobile number per line with no commas or: mobilenumber1,mobilenumber2,mobilenumber3, – i.e. appended by commas with no spaces
  • Paste this list of numbers into the "Mobile number list" box on site, enter a name for the list, and press '"Validate"
  • Confirm: You will be presented with the imported data and asked to confirm it appears as expected. Once you have confirmed, the distribution list will be saved for use

Send SMS text messages to your distribution list

  • Choose "Inbound SMS Action" from your telecoms control panel
  • Associate the number you wish to use to the distribution list you created
  • Send your number of choice an SMS message, and our systems will deliver it to your listed contacts
How do I set up an email to SMS distribution list?

The distribution list mode allows you to send SMS text messages to an entire list of individuals as quickly and efficiently as possible via your email.

Steps

Create a distribution list

  • Login to your aql account.
  • Choose "Email to SMS", then "Manage Distribution Lists" from the setup menu.
  • Select "Add" to create a new distribution list.
  • Input the phone numbers of the people you would like to send SMS messages to. It is important to put the country code in front of the mobile number to ensure these messages are sent to the correct destination. You can choose to do this on the website or in an application of your choice.
  • Copy these mobile numbers into a distribution list. The format of the list is either one mobile number per line with no commas. This is known as "separation type: return" or: mobilenumber1,mobilenumber2,mobilenumber3, – ie appended by commas with no spaces. This is known as "separation type: comma".
  • Paste this list of numbers into the "Mobile number list" box on site, enter a name for the list, and click on 'Validate'.
  • Confirm: You will be presented with the imported data and asked to confirm it appears as expected. Once you have confirmed, the distribution list will be saved for use.

Create an email address

  • Choose "Distribution list" from the "Email to SMS" menu.
  • Associate a sending email address (the one setup in your email client) to the distribution list you have setup.
  • After you have added the association a 30 character "Key reference" will be shown. The key is unique to this association.

Send a message to your distribution list

  • To send a SMS text message to your distribution list, send an email to: <keyreference>@dist.aql.com

Example email address: 40dda80b3c411f311301cd915e829b@dist.aql.com

Confirmation

You will receive a confirmation/error message from the system notifying you if the messages have been sent out, or whether you do not have sufficient credit.

Sending rates and destinations

The text message will then be taken from the first 160 characters of the subject and message body together. Your account will be charged 1 credit per SMS text message. Some destinations are charged at higher rates.

How do I set up an email to speech distribution list?

The distribution list mode allows you to send synthesised voice messages to an entire list of individuals as quickly and efficiently as possible. You can use email to speech to send a single voice message from your email client to a predefined distribution list of mobile numbers.

Steps

Create a distribution list

  • Log in to your aql account.
  • Choose "Email to Speech", then "Manage distribution lists" from the Setup menu.
  • Select "Add" to create a new distribution list.
  • Copy your mobile or landline numbers into the distribution list. The format of the list is either one mobile or landline number per line with no commas or: mobilenumber1,mobilenumber2,mobilenumber3, – ie appended by commas with no spaces.
  • Paste this list of numbers into the "mobile number list" box on site, enter a name for the list, and press 'validate'.
  • Confirm: You will be presented with the imported data and asked to confirm it appears as expected. Once you have confirmed, the distribution list will be saved for use.

Create an email address

  • Choose "Distribution list" from the 'Email to Speech' menu.
  • Associate a sending email address (the one setup in your email client) to the distribution list you have setup.
  • After you have added the association a 30 character 'key reference' will be shown. The key is unique to this association.

Send a message to your distribution list

  • To send a message to your distribution list, send an email to: <keyreference>@voicedist.aql.com. (eg: 40dda80b3c411f311301cd915e829b@voicedist.aql.com)

Confirmation

You will receive a confirmation/error message from the system notifying you if the messages have been sent out, or whether you do not have enough credit.

Sending rates and destinations

The text message will then be taken from the first 300 characters of the subject and message body together. Your account will be charged 1 SMS credit per voice message.

How do I set up eBay outbid notifications via SMS?

eBay (www.ebay.co.uk) issues outbid notifications via email. Our email to sms "pre-defined" service is ideal for use for outbid notifications from eBay. eBay call this "adding a wireless email address".

To set up SMS notifications, first sign up and then log in and (click here) to enter an email to SMS address. e.g. if you enter fred123 and your mobile number, your email to SMS address will be
fred123@sms.aql.com which will forward the first 160 characters of the email to your mobile. Then go to eBay (www.ebay.co.uk).

Log in and go to:

  • Change Notification Preferences
  • Tick the "outbid notice" box, and
  • Tick the "wireless email" box
  • Click "sign up for eBay alerts" Then click "wireless email status/signup"
  • Go to your eBay homepage and click "preferences"
  • You will then see under your personal information: "Change my wireless email address"

Click this and enter the address you defined via our "pre-defined email to SMS" page eg fred123@sms.aql.com. You should then receive alerts when you are outbid etc.

How do I switch from standard route messages to Premium route?

If you have been using standard route messages and wish to switch to Premium route (or vice versa) then please contact us.

There is no charge for this other than the change in tariff when purchasing messages - see our message credits price list for more details.

How do I transfer credits between accounts?

Your master account can be configured to allow credit transfer to any sub-account. Simply raise a support ticket requesting this and this will activated for you.

If you wish to transfer credits between any sub-account, or you are not a reseller, you will need to raise a ticket on both the sending and receiving account confirming the transfer. If the accounts are not on the same message tariff, the credit level will be adjusted accordingly.

How do I use email to SMS open sending?

The email to SMS open sending mode allows you to send emails which will be relayed as an SMS text message to any mobile number.

Steps

  • Login to your aql account.
  • Choose "Email to SMS", then "Open sending" from the SMS menu.
  • Input the email addresses of the people you would like to send SMS messages. This will allow our system to recognise your email address.
  • Send emails to: <mobile number>@text.aql.com (eg. 07740123456@text.aql.com).

Sending rates and destinations

The first 160 characters of your email will be relayed as an SMS text message to the specified mobile number. You can use more than 160 characters if you chose, by sending more than 1 SMS text messages. Your account will be charged 1 credit per SMS text message. Some destinations are charged at higher rates.

How do I use email to SMS predefined mode?

The email to SMS predefined mode allows you to setup an email address, which you can give to your customers and other contacts, making it simple for you to stay in touch with them. Emails sent to this address will be relayed as SMS text messages to a predefined mobile number of your choosing.

Steps

  • Login to your aql account.
  • Choose "Email to SMS", then "Predefined Mode" from the SMS menu.
  • Setup an predefined email address by using an alias on the aql.com domain (subject to availability): for example the alias 'fred' would give you the email address 'fred@sms.aql.com'.
  • Alongside this alias, assign the mobile phone number you would like the message to be sent to.
  • Check your email and press the send messages button.
  • Optional: you can also auto-forward messages to your own email address, so that you have a copy of the entire email (subject to size limits of 2MB per email).

Multiple email adresses

You can set up multiple aliases at the aql.com domain. For example you would be able to setup an address and mobile number for each member of staff in your company making it simple to contact them while out of the office.

Sending rates and destinations

When an email is sent to your predefined address, the first 160 characters of the message will be relayed as an SMS to your mobile phone. Your account will be charged 1 credit per SMS text message. Some destinations are charged at higher rates.

How do I use email to speech open sending?

The open sending mode allows you to send emails from one or more specified email addresses and have them relayed as a synthesised speech messages to any mobile or landline number.

Steps

  • Login to your aql account.
  • Pre-define the email address of the sender, allowing our system to recognise your email address.
  • Send emails to : <mobile number>@openvoice.aql.com (eg. 07740123456@openvoice.aql.com)
  • If you'd like to remove your email signature from the voice message please end your email with "--".

Sending rates and destinations

The sender's address for the email will be matched to your account and the first 300 characters of the email will be relayed as a synthesised speech message to the specified mobile or landline number. Your account will be charged 1 credit per voice message.

Note

This service cannot reach all destinations and delivery times may vary depending on message content due to the time taken to synthesise the speech. Please test the application to make sure it is suitable for your requirements.

How do I use email to speech predefined mode?

The email to speech predefined mode allows you to setup email addresses which you can give to your customers and other contacts, making it simple for you to stay in touch with them. Emails sent to this address will be relayed to a predefined mobile or landline numbers as synthesised speech messages.

Steps

  • Log in to your aql account.
  • Choose "Email to Speech", then "Predefined mode" from the SMS menu.
  • Setup a predefined email address by using an alias on the aql.com domain (subject to availability): for example the alias 'fred' would give you the email address 'fred@voice.aql.com'.
  • Alongside this alias, assign the mobile or landline phone number you would like the message to be sent to.

Multiple addresses

You can set up multiple aliases at the voice.aql.com domain. For example you would be able to setup an address and mobile number for each member of staff in your company making it simple to contact them while out of the office.

Sending rates and destinations

When an email is sent to this address, the first 300 characters of the message will be relayed as a synthesized voice message. Your account will be charged 1 SMS credit per voice message.

Note

Not all destinations can be reached and delays may occur with certain email content due to synthesisation delay. Please test this solution to make sure it's fit for your purpose.

How fast are your Gateways?

If you want to send large or bulk SMS campaigns of up to 50,000 per day, this can be done via our site without any prior arrangement. Our typical send rates are up to 100 SMS messages per second where mobile numbers are imported as a distribution list and then stored.

Note : 100 messages per second is our total peak send rate, so you may find that your messages are sent at this speed, or, if our gateways are busy, messages are sent slower.

Our premium routes have the lowest sending latency and the highest queue processing speed. If you are looking to send large SMS campaigns of above 100,000 and need to ensure timely delivery, please contact us and we can reserve an SMS transit window (we reserve the right to charge a small administrative fee for this service). If you are a large volume SMS sender and using our HTTP POST gateway you may be interested in talking to us about sending SMS messages via other higher capacity options such as SMPP.

How much does a Flash SMS cost?

Flash SMS is charged at the same rate as normal SMS messages, i.e. 1 credit for 1 SMS.

How quickly will my messages be delivered ?

This depends on a number of factors:

Firstly, whether you are using our standard or premium route. Our standard route offers a low price level suitable for high bulk messaging where delivery time is not an essential factor. Premium routed messages are more expensive due to the internet-working fee included in their price. This gives them a higher priority when they are queued by the UK networks.

Once messages are delivered to the UK networks the time it takes for them to be delivered to a handset is out of our control. If the handset is switched off has low reception low battery a full message 'inbox' then this can affect the time between sending and receiving the message.

You can check that messages have been sent out by viewing your 'message history' when logged into your sms2email customer account.

HTTP POST Gateway - What Timezone should I send my messages in?

Our gateways use the current timezone within the United Kingdom. Clocks in the United Kingdom go forward by one hour from 12:59am to 2:00am on the last Sunday in March to and go back on the last Sunday in October from 1:59am to 1:00am each year.

I use SMS for business use - What are my best options?

If you are a business SMS user, you need to evaluate your requirements. If you are looking for a low-cost one-off campaign and not concerned about non-delivery, we can provide "standard" message routing. This is actually the same as a lot of providers "premium" routes.

Our standard messaging is a low cost message routing which delivers fast and reliably to all networks which do not demand termination charges for sending to their network.

If you're messaging to the UK, this kind of approach is sometimes a false economy - because networks such as Vodafone will often refuse messages sent via routes which do not result in revenue for them.

A better option is to choose one of our premium tariffs. These include full delivery reporting and also all internetworking termination fees.

Although this is a more costly option there are 2 clear advantages

  1. all handsets which are turned on and within reception should receive your messages.
  2. any handsets which do not exist or are out of service will be reported to you as "dead". This way, you do not need to include those numbers in any future campaigns - therefore making what is often a considerable cost saving.
I'm receiving calls regarding SMS from an aql 0844 number.

When a mobile user texts a landline, because landlines (largely) can't handle SMS, the SMS message is converted to voice and a number calls you and speaks out the message.

This is done in the UK by BT and also by ourselves, aql. We send the calls from one of the following numbers:

08443585858
08443585859
08443585860
08443585861
08443585862

This is common practise and is how SMS are converted so they can be sent between the mobile networks and the fixed line (landline) networks.

If you are receiving such messages and wish to opt out, please contact us, or if you are already a customer of aql, you may raise a support request.

I'm using a shared PC, should I use the desktop SMS application?

No. The application remembers your username and password in order to make it easy for you to send messages. Installing it on a shared PC would mean that someone else would have access to your SMS account.

I'm wanting to run a direct marketing campaign using SMS - Is there anything I should know?

Yes, It is important that your campaign targets recipients who have expressly given their consent to receive messages from you. You must also provide them with a simple and free method of opting out from further messaging. If you are unsure about the legality of your campaign - Don't send it -- Please talk to us (0870 7449227) - we can offer advice and consultancy regarding getting your campaigns on the right side of the law.

Misleading or badly targeted campaigns are also a waste of money - they will create a bad feeling with the recipients.

MSISDN

Mobile Station International ISDN Number.

The long and technical name given to a standard mobile number - eg +44 (0) 7778123456.

MSISDN's can accept traffic from other networks and are accessible internationally.

My message has been rejected - Do I get a credit refund?

Due to the message having been sent by our network, rejected messages cannot be credited back to your account. The reason is that the message has to be paid for to be sent via our network, this message could then have been rejected for a variety of reasons which are beyond our, or the network's, control.

The best way to avoid message rejection would be to make sure the number sent to is correct before sending, plus that the receiving phone is located within a region covered by your message credit tariff, whether that be Standard, UK or Global.

Problems messaging to ported numbers.

A ported number is a number which has a prefix relating to the original network, yet has been moved to a new network.

For example, an 07766 (vodafone) number may have been moved to the "orange" network.

Some SMS routes determine where to send the messages based on the prefix of the number. In such cases, the message would be incorrectly routed.

Most of our messages are routed using an HLR database (this is a "home location register") which is a database of mobile numbers and destination networks.

However, the HLR can take some time to get new information on newly ported numbers. Sometimes we have to change the routing on your account in order to reach newly ported numbers.

If you are experiencing problems sending to ported numbers, please let us know.

SMS status explained

SMS delivery reports are acknowledgements from the handsets that the message has been received by the phone. (note - this is not the same as being *READ* by the recipient). Note - also - some phones may receive the message, but choose not to display it depending on the settings on the phone.

The usual outcomes are :

  1. Sending -- means message has been sent to the mobile networks - ie it has left the aql platform and is now in the hands of the mobile network
  2. Buffered -- means message is on the network and awaiting delivery to the handset. Buffered will usually appear when there is either network or handset congestion - for example:
  • the network provider is busy
  • the network is waiting for delivery report from the handset
  • the handset's memory is full
  • the handset is switched off
  • the network is waiting for the handset to accept the message.
  • bad reception or network coverage
  • out of service area
  • handset is not registered properly to a mast
  • the buffer memory (temporary holding memory) of the handset is corrupted
  1. Delivered to handset - handset has acknowledged the message. Note - the time of the delivery report = time for the message to be sent, PLUS the time for the delivery report to get back to aql. This means that eg, a delivery report taking 10 seconds means the message was probably delivered in about 5 seconds.
  2. Rejected message not delivered. This status could be caused by bad reception or out of service area. A few phone networks do reject sms if the phone is unreachable without further attempts. If you are using non-privileged route such as standard or economy route, "Failed" status will be returned if the mobile network is too busy processing data via privileged route. We would strongly suggest customer to route via our premium uk or global route because more often than not unprivileged-route ended up as failed.
  3. Binary data not shown status is due to the fact the message is not text message. It could be a wap-push message, mms message, ringtones, images, vcard, etc.
  4. The other reason is that the message is a concatenated message. When you send concatenated messages, the messages are split up into different packets. This packet requires a binary header to identify which packet comes before the other, time of sending, id, etc, etc. Therefore the packet has to be bundled up into binary format and can not be shown by the website.
  5. Invalid Number means that the destination number is not a valid number.
Sometimes I receive a Text Message multiple times?

This can be due to several reasons:

  1. The operating system on some phones have bugs in them which result in them not acknowledging receipt of certain types of messages.
  2. If you are on our economy or standard tariff, it is likely that the destination network for that message is not handling the message correctly because inter-networking fees have not been paid. In these instances, it is advisable to upgrade to our premium tariff which should give much cleaner delivery.
Status explained: Queued Voicepush Messages
  1. If the state of a voice message is No Answer that means the user is not picking up the phone or is rejecting the message. Our system will try to call 4 times leaving about 30 seconds in between each call.
  2. Status will change to Not Confirmed if the call is answered (either by a human, or by an answer phone, or forwarded to another phone).
  3. Status will be changed to Delivered if the callee confirms by pressing 1 (to confirm) or 2 (to repeat) at the end of the message.
What are Replaceable Messages?

Replaceable Messages are messages which are allowed to be updated by newer versions of themselves. Both the original and replacement messages must be sent as Replaceable Messages with the same originator.

This service is available in the UK only - if you are interested in replacement sms on foreign handsets, please get in touch.

Please see our SMS HTTP Gateway (Outbound SMS) for how to incorporate this into a HTTP request.

What are SMPP Accounts?

If you send below 50,000 messages per day, our HTTP or HTTPS post API option is usually the most flexible and easily implemented gateway for bulk SMS.

However, if you expect your traffic to be "peaky" - ie more than 10,000 per hour or more than 100,000 per day, we would recommend our SMPP interface.
SMPP is the industry standard interface for SMS text messaging. It's not entirely straightforward to set up, but once set up is fast and reliable.
SMPP accounts (sometimes called SMS API's) give more flexibility and functionality than our standard accounts. For the full specification please download our PDF whitepaper here.
The document describes the connection procedure.

Note - Although SMPP is a plain text protocol, it can be tunnelled over SSL in order to encrypt the authentication and data carried the protocol. We offer this option at no extra charge - please contact us for port assignments.

Our premium SMS SMPP interface differs slightly in specification - for the full specification please see our documentation.

We have a team of experts available to support your implementation. Please address all support and implementation enquiries via our support ticket system where your enquiry will be forwarded to the best person to assist you.

What is (aq)textback?

It is a method of receiving messages from mobiles phones, then being able to process the responses in a variety of ways, e.g. send via email, store in a database or reply back to the sender with information. If you had 1000's of customers and you decided to announce a new product via an SMS marketing campaign - what if they all replied with "yes"? If the message went to your mobile phone, you wouldn't cope. (aq)textback is an automated way of storing responses directly into a database.

What is a Reply-able SMS Messaging?

The service works by "remembering" messages sent out through our gateway, and matching replies sent back to us through one of our incoming numbers. After sending a message out, there is an exclusive window where messages from the destination number will be accepted and routed back to the correct account. After a message is received back, the window is closed - IE you can only receive one reply per message sent out.

During the expiry window, our system will lock-out attempts for another user to set the reply flag going to the same number. Other users on our system would have to wait until the end of the expiry window (12 hours), or until the window is closed with a reply.

At the moment, it is possible for replies to be sent to any email address (which you can nominate at the time of sending), or the messages can be stored in your SMS inbox. In the future it will be possible to integrate your applications via the HTTP Post gateway, and receive replies directly to your server.

Please note...

To route to messages back to us, we override the originator setting on the message with our reply gateway number. If for any reason the message cannot have the reply flag set, the default originator on your account will be used.

What is Flash SMS?

Flash SMS is an SMS which is displayed on the phone screen immediately upon arrival.

Unless you choose to save the flash message, it will disappear upon navigating away and will not be saved in your inbox.

Please beware that the if several flash messages are sent to one phone, only the latter message will be displayed, and all the previous ones will be overwritten.

What is Open Sending?

Open sending allows you to send an email to any mobile phone from an email address registered in your sms2email account.

Once you have registered the email address you are sending email to SMS from, you can send emails to as SMS messages to mobile phones in the following way: mobilenumber@text.sms2email.com

You must ensure that there are no spaces in the mobile number. The first 160 characters of your email (starting with the subject field and then the message field) will be converted into a text message.

Each email sms you send costs one message credit. For more information about email to sms see the guide on our technical support page.

Where can I change my details?

In order to change your account detail, please raise a ticket via our support portal.

Where can I get information on the legals regarding SMS marketing?

As with most marketing campaigns, the Direct Marketing Association is a good starting point.

Mobile phone numbers may also be registered free of charge with the Telephone Preference Service. Register online on the www.tpsonline.org.uk website (Registration telephone number: 0845 070 0707).

Why do I need a premium account?

Low cost text messages are sent without paying the recipient network any fee for routing the message to the handset.

Many networks do not like to route messages unless they are paid an "internetworking fee". Most UK networks will only route messages which are sent which cover this fee - this prevents their network from becoming clogged with low cost spam/marketing messages from low cost overseas providers.

If you are having delivery issues or long delays before delivery, it is likely that the messages are being dropped or deprioritised by the destination network. The only way around this is to pay the internetworking fee to the destination network. Our premium tariff includes all internetworking fees for almost all global destinations.

If you wish to upgrade to premium messaging, please let us know via the support system - we can upgrade your account and adjust your balance pro rata.

Why do I need the desktop application?

Certain types of users, especially those on a slow connection, do not want to wait for the site to load in order to send messages.

Using the desktop application allows you to send messages quickly and easily from an application which runs under windows and can be left open all the time.

The application connects to our gateway by an encrypted tunnel, which helps to ensure your data privacy.

The SMS program is provided on a free-distribution basis and you can install as many copies as you wish.

Why do my messages show delivered but no messages appear on the handset?

If you have confirmed that your messages are being delivered to their destination network and the destination handset, yet you are still not receiving messages, then these may have been dropped silently (without error) by the handset.

It is a common practise by a mobile handset to drop binary messages silently if it is unable to decipher the UDH (data header) or if it believes the messages has been sent in an incorrect format.

This can be identified by sending the same message to a different handset / network and noting the result. You should also note that if both phones are unable to display the message then the original message may have been constructed incorrectly.

Why do prepay credits expire after 12 months?

Prepay credits expire after 12 months because we cannot act as a "bank" with open-ended liability. We also cannot risk having 1000's of customers who all wait (for example) for 18 months and then send all their messages on the same day.

We recommend that you purchase messages in sensible quantities that you are likely to use within a year. This may cost more per message, but means that you are less likely to lose messages through expiry.

To track message expiry times, please log onto your account and goto "history" and then "expiry history".

Why do some symbols use more than one character?

As part of the GSM encoding, certain symbols use two characters. These are as follows:

[ ] ^ { } ~ \ | ' £ €

If you wish to use these symbols, please bear in mind that they will use one extra character of your 160 character limit.

Why has my message been rejected?

A message can be rejected by the network for a number of reasons. If you have set the originator to a value more than 11 characters then some phones will reject the message.

If your destination phone is uncontactable whilst you are trying to send a message the message may time out and expire. This also leads to messages being rejected.

In some cases messages are redelivered after being rejected but there is no way to find out if this is the case (other than to contact the handset owner directly and ask them).

Messages shown as 'rejected' have been sent out into the network by sms2email and have then been rejected at some later point - we have attempted to send them as instructed.

If you are concerned as to why messages are being rejected then please raise a support ticket in our online support forum.

Why is every part of concatenated message shorter than 160 characters?

Concatenated messages require a header to identify which message comes before the other, time of sending, id, etc. This extra information takes up the space for 9 characters. Therefore a 2-part concatenated message could only contain 151 x 2 characters as opposed to 160 x 2. The maximum number of concatenated messages you can send using email to SMS is 5.

Why is there a delay between sending a message and receiving the delivery report?

Whilst there will always be some delay between sending messages and receiving delivery reports, this is usually only a few minutes (or even seconds) where you are using premium route messages.

Messages sent out on the standard route may be subject to longer delays since their cost does not include internet-working fees. As such delivery reports are not always received even though messages are actually delivered to destination handsets.

If you experience significant delays between sending messages and receiving delivery reports on premium route messages then this may be the result of a number of factors affecting either the initial message when it enters the UK network or affecting the delivery report whilst in transit back to sms2email.

These delays can be caused by problems such as poor network coverage (due to poor signal or high traffic) or handset failure (due to battery or a full message 'inbox').