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Introduction to Premium Rate SMS

With Premium SMS, the recipient is charged a premium for either receiving or sending a message, usually in return for content or a service. Service providers usually offer dedicated and shared (Keyword) shortcodes that can be set up quickly with the maximum pay-out.

There are two types of Premium Rate SMS (PR-SMS):

  1. MO (Mobile Originated) PR-SMS - this is where the mobile-user pays to send in a message- This is normally used for once-off services such as competitions.
  2. MT (Mobile Terminated) PR-SMS is where the mobile-user pays to receive an SMS message. This is usually used for subscription services.

More than one message can be billed in order to facilitate larger amounts. Below lists the most popular PR-SMS services:

  • Information - Horoscopes, historical information about tourist attractions, public transport timetables, traffic reports, directions, weather reports, surf reports and news, the choices are almost limitless.
  • Content - Billing for content, such as mobile ringtones, logos, screensavers, Logos, Screensavers, voicemail greetings and java games is one of the largest uses of Premium Rate. Of course, any form of content could be billed.
  • Voting & Polls - This is where the user will SMS in to vote for something, or to take part in a poll. Popularised by TV shows such as Idols where users would send an SMS to vote for their favourite contestant.
  • Competitions - Similar to polls, where the user would SMS in, in order to enter a competition and possibly win something. This can be once off, multiple time or time limited, etc.
  • Dating & Chat - Premium SMS is being used in dating applications. PR-SMS is used to set up user profiles, receive possible matches and facilitate chatting.
  • Quizzes - A form of interactive SMS or a competition. The user proceeds through a number of questions in order to win the quiz or prize.
  • Charity & Fund-Raising - PR-SMS is an easy way to raise funds. All users have to do is send a message to a number in order to donate to charity or raise funds. There is no easier way!
  • Vouchers - These have a variety of uses. One example is using a voucher as a ticket to gain access into functions or events.
  • Passwords - Passwords can be sent to users that enable access to content on websites or WAP on a pay per view or time-access basis.
  • Subscriptions Services - This is where clients are sent content on a scheduled basis. This could include information such as news updates or sport scores. Each message is billed to the users account at a premium rate.