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SIM Telecom – deployment of a messaging platform (SMS, Push)

About SIM Telecom
SIM Telecom is a Russian telecommunications company providing cellular services. In 2014, the company launched a virtual telecom operator Sim Sim based on the Vimpelcom network (the Beeline brand) in Moscow and Moscow region for visitors from near and far abroad.
In 2019, SIM Telecom began to provide services under the Next Mobile brand. Next Mobile offers customers a SIM card supporting multiple mobile network operators. The SIM card has one phone number. When the signal strength is low, the SIM card automatically switches to the network with the best connection quality in the given location.
Tasks
The Russian mobile messaging market in the A2P (Application to Person) segment is developing and showing stable growth. SMS still remains one of the most popular and reliable communication channels. Research shows that up to 80% of SMS consumers prefer collaborating with aggregators, rather than working directly with mobile network operators.
To enter the messaging market, SIM Telecom needed to build its own messaging infrastructure that would be 100% independent of other operators and aggregators.
In this case, the company wanted solutions that would allow it to build an omnichannel communications system that brings together disparate communication channels into a single system.

In addition, being a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), the company had to connect other operators/aggregators to itself in order to provide its own customers with the opportunity to receive SMS from third-party companies (banks, retail companies, and many others).

When implementing these tasks, the company had to consider special reliability and performance requirements. It also provided for the possibility to integrate with the company's existing systems.
Solution
The WINGS solution is a universal platform for organizing a wide range of services through such communication channels as SMS, Push notifications, instant messengers, social networks, USSD, E-mail and calls.


At the first stage of cooperation with SIM Telecom, SMS and Push notification channels were implemented. The next stage is on developing omnichannel communications with subscribers – expanding the list of channels.

The WINGS messaging platform allows to generate messages through the Web user interface and API, it supports templates and message fallback. It provides the ability to track messaging progress, collects statistical information, generates reports and much more.е.
Message fallback refers to the ability to set the order of the communication channel: if a message was not delivered via one communication channel, it is sent via the next channel. For example, a Push notification is first sent to the subscriber, and if the message is not delivered within the specified timeout, it is re-sent via SMS.

Longer fallbacks are also possible, for example: Push - Viber - SMS (enumeration of channels from the cheapest to the most expensive). So, this ensures message delivery, at the same time minimizing communication costs.
With the spread of smartphones and mobile apps, push notifications are becoming a popular way of notifying customers. They are more convenient and informative than SMS; they do not have text size restrictions. Rich content can be added to Push notifications, such as images, videos, emoji, and even buttons. To receive a notification, all you need is for your smartphone to be connected to the Internet. That’s why push notifications are practically free of charge.

With the WINGS solution, you can send Push notifications to iOS and Android mobile apps. When developing the solution, possible problems with notifications in Android mobile apps were taken into account. An API and an open SDK (a set of libraries for working with Push notifications) are provided to integrate mobile apps with the messaging platform. A high notification delivery rate is achieved through direct interaction with Google and Apple servers, as well as built-in scripts aimed at improving customer experience (SDK allows you to display prompts instructing the user on how to configure his smartphone for Push notifications, depending on the device model).

The messaging platform can be connected both to mobile network operators directly and to various aggregators. The system supports automated message routing based on the least-cost routing (LCR) principle. The channel with the lowest cost is selected from all available operators/aggregators. For correct SMS routing, the solution interacts with the ported number database operator (MNP).
To make it disaster-tolerant and also provide a throughput of up to 2000 messages per second, the SIM Telecom solution was implemented on a cluster of servers located in two data centers. The WINGS Notification Server will continue to run not only when one server fails, but also when one of the data centers fails.
Deployment of the WINGS messaging platform allowed SIM Telecom to successfully provide its customers (among whom are trading house Stoloto, online insurance service Strahovka.ru and others) with a reliable and efficient bulk messaging service, including critical transactional traffic.
Technical support
Numerous stress and fault tolerance tests were conducted during the preliminary acceptance tests. The WINGS personnel integrated the solution into the existing SIM Telecom network, deployed test and production environments.

Seamless migration to the cloud was completed in early 2019.

WINGS provides first-line support, administration and monitoring.
Deployment results
SIM Telecom has enjoyed the following benefits from deploying the WINGS messaging platform:

  • Optimization of communication costs by selecting an optimal service provider and using Push notifications in the messaging fallback chain;
  • Centralized management of all communication channels;
  • Reliability and high performance of the solution.