“Why Do I Have Partial Delivery of Bulk SMS?”

  24 August 2015

Partial delivery of bulk messages occurs when you send messages to many numbers and some recipients gets it while some do not. Probably you’ve experienced partial delivery of bulk SMS at one time or the other during your use of bulk SMS service. There is an explanation for this though and of course there is a solution for that.

One thing of note while sending messages is that it is the GSM operators that handle the delivery of messages. And for a message to get delivered to a particular phone number or not, it is a factor of the GSM operators and the recipient’s phone line itself.


Like earlier mentioned, it is the network operators who are responsible for delivering of your sent bulk messages. Each GSM operator has different stance concerning word in content of message and sender IDs that are acceptable and the ones that are not.


Generally, GSM operators have a filtering system which contains list of words that are not allowed either as sender IDs or in the content of a message. This list is not the same for all GSM providers. This explains why sometimes, a message might deliver to a particular network but will not to another. For example, a sent bulk SMS might get delivered to GLO numbers but MTN lines will not get it, because there is something in the content of the message that MTN do not allow.


The GSM operators might also reject a message. This might be because the phone number the message is being sent to has been blocked from receiving messages or the message sent is seen as a spam(randomly unsolicited) and so the network operator rejects it.


Another possible reason for partial delivery of bulk SMS might be as a result of an error from the GSM operator’s server. If this error occurs during the time the message was meant to get delivered, the delivery to that particular network might fail whereas other phone numbers gets delivered.



Partial delivery of bulk SMS sometimes can also be caused from the message supposed recipient’s end, although unintentionally.


One of the reasons why a message might not get delivered to a phone number is if the number is switched off or out of network coverage while the message validity period lasts. If the GSM operator tries to get the message delivered on that particular phone during this period and it proves abortive, the message will be expired and when the phone comes up, the supposed recipient won’t get it.


Another reason for partial delivery of bulk messages coming from the recipient angle is mobile number portability issues. It has been discovered that ported phone numbers do not receive application to mobile text messages, and as such others will get the message but such one(s) won’t.


In other cases, the recipient’s message inbox might be full and so the message doesn’t come in. In this situation, the delivery report may read delivered whereas it doesn’t come in on the phone.



Of course, sometimes partial delivery of bulk SMS can be a factor of the person sending the bulk SMS. Some of the anomalies that the person sending the message might commit resulting in partial delivery of the bulk SMS are; entering an incorrect phone number, or sending the same message to the same phone number over a short period of time. Once this happens, the GSM operators won’t be able to deliver such messages to that phone number.


On SmartSMSSolutions though, you do not have to guess to know how many of your recipients got the message you forwarded to them. You can check the delivery report for your sent messages to know this. Additionally, we’ve put together a list of delivery status codes and what they mean so that you can tell where the partial delivery of your sent messages is coming from.


Partial delivery of bulk SMS though is not unsolvable. See here how to handle partial delivery of bulk SMS.


If you do not have a registered bulk SMS account yet, register a free one now and get free SMS units instantly.


Contributions and questions on the reason for partial delivery of bulk SMS are welcomed. Use the comment box below for that purpose.





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