SMPP Messaging Protocol: How It Works and Why Your Business Needs It

Topic: Esendex, Uncategorized

Before we get into the nitty gritty details of SMPP messaging, we want to define it for you. SMPP stands for Short Message Peer to Peer protocol. SMPP in telecom has been a rising topic for quite some time, and there are many reasons for that, which we’ll go into later.

Cellular phones today are best known for facilitating the speedy passage of SMS information between businesses and individuals. SMPP messaging protocol offers an exceptional opportunity to make texting easy and quick. This article will provide a primer on SMPP messaging, including what you need to know about it and how it can affect your business’s ability to increase profits.

What is SMPP Messaging?

Short Message Peer to Peer (SMPP) is a specific type of communication protocol. It lets users of mobile phones on a specific network send and receive text messages with the most flexibility possible under the TCP protocol. Thankfully, compared to SS7, there is no need to purchase expensive equipment and go through the configuration process.

Let’s look at an SMPP example to make this easier to understand. An SMPP client acts as a bridge between two mobile devices so they can communicate immediately. It was introduced in 1996 and has risen in popularity over the last ten years. There are tons of mobile apps that utilize SMPP as the primary channel to communicate with network carriers.

SMPP messaging involves a highly versatile communications interface. This is used to quickly shoot messages between routing entities (RE), external short message entities (ESME), and message centers (MC). It was first created to ensure that all messages would be delivered properly.

For businesses like yours, an array of SMPP API benefits exist. It can help you expand your capabilities and communication reach. The two audiences that will find it most useful are those who sell products or services online or those who want to offer automated services to customers and clients.

On top of that, SMPP messaging allows messages to be delivered over IP networks, such as UMTS or GPRS, as often as possible to ensure a high delivery performance.

What Is SMTP Messaging?

SMTP messaging is not the same as SMPP messaging. SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, which sends messages using an email gateway or service to send out text messages.

Let’s say someone wants to send a message to 123-456-7890 through email. They could use the address or another email domain to complete this process. The email is sent using an email gateway but pops up as a text message.

After an SMTP server is created, email clients can connect with it and communicate back and forth. When someone sends an email, the client opens an SMTP server connection so it reaches the right place.

At this point, the SMTP client will use various commands to transfer data and alert the server about what actions to take. This includes the email’s content, the recipient’s email address, and the sender’s email address. The Message Transfer Agent (MTA) or Mail Transfer Agent will check whether both email addresses are in the same domain.

The email will be sent immediately if this is the case. If they aren’t on the same domain, the Domain Name System (DNS) can be used to identify the recipient’s domain so the message makes it to the appropriate server.

Types of SMPP Specifications

Three different versions of protocol specifications for SMPP are currently in use. The most commonly used is SMPP version 3.4, last updated in 1999. SMPP version 3.3 was released in 1997, while the final release of SMPP version 5 came out in 2003.

Who Uses an SMPP Server?

Almost everyone has used SMPP at one point or another. It occurs if you receive a message from an application configured for use with SMPP at any point. If you’ve received a bank notification or utility bill from where the sender is displayed, that’s SMPP.

Many industries have used an SMPP protocol in indirect or direct ways, some of which include:

  • Appointment reminders: Providers a user with information about an upcoming appointment.
  • Booking confirmations: Used to send out confirmations of booking for hotels and similar businesses.
  • Marketing: Promotions can be sent to customers as an overall marketing strategy.
  • Telemetry applications: Available to ensure customers know about activity on their accounts.
  • Two-factor authentication: Able to verify a customer’s identity through text messages.

What Are SMPP Sessions?

To use SMPP Protocol, a session has to be established between a message center and ESME. Most of the time, the ESME initiates the session using an application layer TCP/IP connection. There are a trio of sessions to be aware of: RX, TRX, and TX.

  • RX (Receiver): It only receives delivery receipts or messages.
  • TRX (Transceiver): It can send and receive delivery receipts and messages.
  • TX (Transmitter): It only sends out messages.

ESME might be operated by a business using SMS marketing and have connections to the mobile network operator’s SMSC (short message service center). All operations of mobile networks will have an SMSC for forwarding and storing messages properly to ESMEs or handsets if the customer can reply.

The Advantages of Using SMPP Protocol

As we mentioned, using an SMPP protocol provides many benefits. Below we’ll go into some detail on how it could provide utility and flexibility to your business.


SMPP messaging lets companies enjoy additional flexibility in terms of text message campaigns. This is due to letting customers use the SMS sending mode to send out mass amounts of emails.


The SMPP Protocol is super secure. It can offer end-to-end encryption for all messages using a vibrant network to ensure security at every moment.


SMPP is also very reliable, making it popular for business communication. In addition, this helps increase the read rate on the part of the recipients.


Using SMPP to integrate your business with text messaging campaigns is an excellent way to save money over time. SMPP for messaging is extremely less expensive than many traditional methods.

Quick Communication

SMPP messaging lets you send short messages to customers and clients. This is an excellent way to stay ahead of competitors since you can respond to messages in whatever way fits your schedule.


Using the SMPP protocol for SMS messages helps your business connect with people. This is a huge benefit if you have customers from another region or country. You don’t need to have access to local text messaging services.


Another top benefit of SMPP messaging is that scaling the number of messages you send is quick and easy. It lets you adapt to how many messages you send, no matter the reason.

How Esendex Can Help with Your SMPP Messaging Needs

Esendex is here to assist with all your SMPP messaging needs. We offer a suite of solutions to solve business communication problems you might be experiencing. Our SMS broadcasting and SMS APIs will likely be the right place to start with reliable text messaging with customers.

With our SMS software, you can access simple-to-use methods of sending and receiving SMS and MMS messages using a 10DLC or short code phone number. Read our API guide to learn more about our solutions, or contact our sales team to learn more about your options.

Author Avatar
Esendex US