Do you need to test outbound calling or SMS to international numbers, but your client or customer doesn’t have anyone to respond to the call or SMS? SMS notifications and VOIP services are the backbone of any on-demand platform as they provide the required communication between a service provider and the users. An effective tool is needed which provides powerful communication between mobile devices, applications, services, and systems throughout the business in order to bridge the gap between conventional communication. With communications APIs, users can easily embed text messaging and even phone call capabilities into their existing websites and mobile apps, or even build custom communications platform from the ground up. So, in this blog we will discuss how to get communication APIs or in simpler words we can say how we can find a solution to test our application or features with International numbers effectively and accurately.
Where to use International Number testing?
International call and SMS is needed in various domains like banking, air ticketing, online shopping, online cab booking, doctor appointment booking, emergency alert services etc. Below are the areas where international calling and texting is needed.
OTP validation: In a marketplace scenario, it is important to verify the mobile number of users at the time of sign up process. Hence, a SMS API is needed to make it more easier and simpler.
App Calling & Texting: Any on-demand app needs proper communication between admin, service provider and customer. These can be done by integrating API with mobile apps.
Notifications: In online shopping it is very important to inform the customer about the status of their order starting from order confirmation to delivery. For this company needs an SMS API which can be integrated with mobile app to let the users know about the status effectively.
Caller ID: Whenever a company wants to get in touch with the user, they have to implement number masking in order to safeguard the privacy of the user. Here, the API helps the companies to interact with users using their app.
Mass Messages: In the present market scenario company needs to make announcements on their offers, discounts, mega sale to their customers. To make it efficient and errorless, company needs a text API which can send all the offer related messages to all the customers at the same time with same content irrespective of the service provider.
Tools which can provide us effective solution: There are multiple tools available in the market, so as per the requirement you can select the tool. If the price is not the constraint, then I would recommend the most popular option i.e. Twilio. Below are some of the tools available in market
6 things to consider while choosing a tool:
- Stability: Application and the API that we use should be stable.
- Cost: Should be affordable and within the budget of the client.
- Validation: Through automated voice calls or a onetime password.
- Delivery Reports: Optional but make sure users have access to reports for better analysis.
- Availability in your country: Make sure that the service is available in customer area.
- How easy is the Integration: Find if the SDK can be integrated in customer app.
Steps to use Twilio for International number testing
First we have to access the Twilio app using the URL:
Below is the login page for Twilio. Log in to the app using valid login credentials.
Once you log in to the app you can see the home page with the console dashboard. In the top right-most part of the page, you can find the username with which you have logged in.
There are multiple features available but as per our blog we will concentrate on programmable Voices and Programmable SMS’s. We will describe how to buy a number and how to use it to test International SMS. Below is the screenshot to identify Voice and SMS features:
First, we need to buy a number, for that go to Phone Numbers tab and then click on Buy a Number option. You can find multiple country options in the dropdown, so select the country you want to test.
Once you select the country then select the capabilities you want to test, there are four option available 1. Voice 2. SMS 3. MMS 4.Fax
Once the number gets added, verify the number to check if it has been successfully updated. To do this check the active number list.
Now you can use the newly added number to send and reply to messages. To validate the incoming or outgoing messages you need to check the Logs tab in Programmable SMS field as shown below.
To easily validate the SMS you can filter the messages with the specific status, there are multiple status available in Twilio, check the below screenshot to get familiar with the status.
Now the last thing is to check the content of the message, navigate to Logs, click on the message for which you want to see the content. You can see the complete message details as shown below:
Twilio Features: Twilio provides developers and customers with the API’s needed to build any communication-based functionality. Twilio API Integration provides various features:
- Web and mobile programmers can easily use communication protocols within the app using REST APIs
- Multilanguage support system with good voice quality
- Toll-free numbers for API users can be used for support system development
- Pay per usage bill services
- TWiML Markup language is very easy to use for implementing the entire Twilio infrastructure for any project development
- Make & receive phone calls
- Send & receive text messages / SMS integration
- Text to speech
- Conference calls
- Video calls
Conclusion There are multiple organizations that need to validate the calling and texting features for multiple countries, so getting international numbers for testing purposes that too for different countries is near to impossible and costly. Twilio provides us a wide range of features with the APIs so that we can test multi-country numbers with desired voice quality. For many startups and newly established organizations, it may be difficult to spend a lot on testing or using Twilio, however, they can go with alternatives that are mentioned in the above section of the blog. Some of the well-known organizations are using the APIs of Twilio to fulfill their business needs for e.g. Twitter, Netflix, Coca-Cola, Airbnb, Dell, salesforce, VMware, Uber etc. Twilio utilizes over 1,000 mobile carriers in over 150 countries to handle the backbone of their voice and SMS services. Using this app can give companies an easy option to pave the way for international calling and SMS testing.
Refer to the below link to get APIs for Twilio and build more using it: