What's the outgoing rate limit for SMS messages?

Many of our clients need to send messages in bulk to customers and prospects. While being a very important communication channel, the practice of bulk-send for SMS has been subject to scrutiny in recent times to prevent and avoid spam messages. Operators and regulatory bodies are sensitive to the number of messages that can be sent out per minute from a given number. The business impact of rate-limiting by the authorities ranges from reduced customer reach and poor delivery rates to potential blocking of service for non-compliance.

Plivo’s messaging platform solves this problem by delivering your messages to downstream operators based on the type of source number used and the destination country. A dedicated queue is maintained for each of your source numbers.

This means that if you need to send messages using the Plivo SMS API to a specific destination country at a throughput greater than what is available from a single source number, you can increase your overall capacity by distributing your traffic across a pool of Plivo numbers. The combination of Plivo Smart Queue, together with the availability of a pool of numbers, means that you can achieve the throughput required for your business while staying within the recommended per number rate limits.


Do I need to contact you to get this enabled on my Plivo account?

No. Plivo Smart Queue is enabled for Plivo accounts by default.

How do I determine the current status of a message? Can I see whether it is queued or has been sent out?

When a message is in the queue, the status is set to ‘queued’. The message is marked as ‘sent’ once it has been passed on to downstream carrier networks. Read more about message statuses here.

Are these the only rate limits that apply to my SMS traffic?

You can send SMS requests to Plivo at any rate you wish. However, all messages received by Plivo are first put into the primary queue. Messages are de-queued from the primary queue based on the account level MPS (Messages Per Second) configured your account. Messages are then throttled for final delivery by Smart Queue based on the source type and destination country.

Will Smart Queue process messages in the order in which they were sent to Plivo?

Yes, Smart Queue uses an ordered set as its primary data structure. This ensures that your messages are never processed out of order.

How are long (multi-part) messages handled?

Multi-part messages are enqueued, de-queued and processed as a single entity at all times. The de-queue rate of a message is auto-adjusted based on the size of the message to ensure that your traffic remains compliant regardless of the size of the message. For instance, if you send a two-part SMS from a US source number, the message would be de-queued two seconds after the previous message in that source number’s Smart Queue.

For information regarding sending SMS’s at a higher capacity, please contact our Sales Team.

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