SMS gateways are used by CommCare HQ to send and receive text messages. Each gateway is represented by a phone number - this could be a full phone number (e.g. +1-555-123-4567) or a shortcode (e.g. 13341). Different types of gateways exist - use this page to determine which SMS gateway is most appropriate for your project.
For general questions about how CommCareHQ uses SMS, please visit this page on SMS basics.
There are a few types of SMS gateways available for use in CommCareHQ:
- Dimagi Connected Gateways: These are existing gateways that are already available in CommCareHQ (listed below). They are suitable for high-volume projects (and some support reverse-billing), but are only available in certain countries. There are a few global gateways (US phone numbers) but these are more expensive for sending and receiving international messages. Review the table below to determine which gateways support the countries for your project.
- Android Gateway: This uses an Android phone to send and receive messages for your project. It's suitable for lower-volume projects and requires ongoing upkeep (topping up the phone's balance and making sure it remains connected to the internet). Instructions for using this gateway option are available here: Setup an Android SMS Gateway
- New In Country Gateway: For larger high-volume projects in countries we do not already support, Dimagi can support connecting a new gateway to CommCareHQ. SMS gateways can be purchased directly from a cell phone company in a country, or from an aggregator that resells phone numbers. Setting up a new gateway requires a significant amount of time and can have high costs. After identifying potential providers, please use the Aggregator Evaluation Worksheet to ensure that key questions are asked and answered during meetings with respective telcos/aggregators. Once you have selected an appropriate gateway provider based on project requirements (cost, setup time, reverse billing, the gateway can we connected to CommCareHQ with assistance from Dimagi's developer team. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Pricing per SMS can be found here: https://www.commcarehq.org/messaging-pricing
Existing CommCareHQ Gateways
These gateways are always available for use without setup time, and Dimagi manages the relationships with these gateway providers. To see a full list of available gateways, go to Messaging -> SMS Connectivity in your CommCareHQ project space. From there you can choose one to use for your project. See Setup SMS Connection for Project for more detailed instructions.