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Press Release -- January 12th, 2015

Bandwidth’s Virtual Phone Numbers Help Grow Popular OTT Applications by Enabling Them to Work with Any Messaging Shortcode

"Burner and Dingtone provide messaging to millions of users, leveraging Bandwidth phone numbers enabled to reach nearly every US shortcode"

RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Two leading Over-The-Top (OTT) voice and messaging mobile apps are using Bandwidth platforms to enable their virtual phone numbers to message with nearly every shortcode in the United States. Bandwidth equips both Burner and Dingtone with important carrier-grade phone number features to help them provide their users with fully compatible messaging services – normally only experienced with a traditional wireless carrier. Burner and Dingtone can now offer users a better mobile app experience, but with the capabilities of a carrier-grade phone number.

According to forecasts from Informa, there are over 50 billion OTT messages sent each day – more than double the total of traditional SMS texts. But in a competitive and crowded market, OTT applications need to deliver new features to remain one step ahead of their peers and also focus on the bigger market opportunity, as OTT voice and messaging services become true alternatives to traditional communications providers.

An important new feature for OTT apps is the ability to send and receive messages from the user's phone number to a shortcode. Shortcodes are a common way for websites such as Facebook, Google and Twitter to authenticate and validate users. Shortcodes have also been used for many years by major national brands to communicate quick messages such as flight updates, online banking alerts, news and important event notifications.

Prior to Bandwidth's solution, app-based phone numbers could only message to and from shortcodes if the app developer solved this problem internally. This complex process involved developing individual commercial agreements and having their own technology solutions – making it unavailable to the OTT voice and messaging app community. With Bandwidth platforms, two leading OTT applications are using shortcodes to power new phases of growth.

  • Burner is an app that offers a privacy layer for iPhone or Android phones, providing access to new phone numbers to help protect a user's mobile identity. As part of its latest version release in November 2014, Burner's users can now utilize Burner's 10-digit phone numbers for two-factor authentication on popular social networks, along with receiving shortcode alerts from other leading applications.
  • "As our mobile phone number becomes increasingly linked with our online identity, providing our users with features that protect privacy is critical to our future growth," said Greg Cohn, CEO of Ad Hoc Labs, which developed Burner. "With Bandwidth, we can offer competitive features that make our service professional grade – it's the only platform that gives us the sophistication to help our business grow."
  • Dingtone is a free calling and texting app that provides permanent U.S. phone numbers to 10 million users, traditionally serving as a secondary option to mobile providers and landlines. For Dingtone to help its users actually replace their traditional voice and messaging provider, it enables shortcode notifications from large online companies and financial institutions.
  • "With Bandwidth's shortcodes, our users can link their Dingtone numbers to their Facebook, Google, Twitter and bank accounts," said Steven Wei, creator of Dingtone. "We're now in a position to become our users' primary voice and messaging option."

Shortcode enablement is one of many critical features that OTT applications can offer when they work with Bandwidth. Other carrier-grade features that Bandwidth phone numbers offer include:

  • Directory Listings / Directory Assistance – helping businesses using OTT services affirm legitimacy in the ecosystem and be identified online.
  • Capabilities to update phone numbers for CNAM/Caller ID – helping both consumers and businesses have virtual phone numbers that are recognized and professional.
  • Option to register for E911 services

"Many OTT applications are in a stage of their growth where they need to offer more mature and sophisticated voice and messaging services", said Steve Leonard, EVP and General Manager at Bandwidth. "For these providers, enabling shortcode messaging on their phone numbers becomes an especially enticing way to combine carrier-grade features with the flexible and unique benefits of OTT. Both Burner and Dingtone recognize the value that reaching shortcodes can bring to their application, and we're happy to help them grow new users and challenge traditional telecom."

About Bandwidth

Bandwidth is among the nation's largest and fastest-growing communication technology companies. The company operates two divisions – business solutions and consumer (Republic Wireless) that share a mission of transforming the communications industry. Across the divisions, Bandwidth provides a full range of communications services, including voice origination, termination and toll free; a full suite of 9-1-1 services; SMS solutions; SIP Trunking; hosted VoIP for SMBs; and a consumer wireless business. Founded in 1999, and a certified CLEC in 49 states, Bandwidth is a profitable company headquartered in Raleigh, NC with a large remote office in Denver, CO and field offices in eight other cities.

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