Provisioning MMS Short Codes on the NowSMS MMSC

Posted by on Feb 23, 2009 in Support Blog

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When using the NowSMS MMSC as an operator MMSC, one frequently asked question is how to provision short codes for MMS content providers, or Value Added Service Providers (VASP).

The MMS specifications from the 3GPP define MM7 as the standard protocol for Value Added Service Providers to interface with operator MMSCs.

Since many MMS content providers are existing SMS content providers, it may help to point out some significant ways in which MM7 differs from the SMPP protocol which is most frequently used for SMS content delivery.

With SMPP, it is almost always the content provider that originates the SMPP connection. The SMPP connection is a persistent, always active connection. SMS messages can be sent and received over the same connection.

MM7 is an HTTP-based protocol. Connections are not persistent, but instead are initiated on demand, as required (HTTP keep-alive sockets are used to avoid re-connection overhead if many messages are being submitted in bulk). When a content provider has a message to send, it initiates a new connection (unless a keep-alive connection is available) to the mobile operator to submit the message. When the mobile operator has a message to deliver to the content provider, the mobile operator initiates a connection to the content provider.

The NowSMS product is available to content providers to simplify the process of interfacing with your MMSC over MM7. Content providers can find morre information about configuring NowSMS to interface with an operator MMSC over MM7 in the following article: http://www.nowsms.com/connecting-to-an-operator-mmsc-with-mm7.

These are the steps for provisioning a content provider on the NowSMS MMSC.

Step 1: Provision the “MMSC VASP” account which defines an account through which the content provider authenticates to the MMSC and submits MMS messages for delivery.

On the “MMSC VASP” page of the NowSMS configuration dialog, press the “Add” button to define a new VASP.

For the “Account Name”, we recommend specifying the short code assigned to the provider. This not required, but is recommended for simplifying administrative tasks.

The “Password” field contains a password that the content provider will use when connecting to the MMSC. (We recommend also assigning “IP Address Restrictions” so that the content provider is only allowed to connect from a single IP address, or a limited number of IP addresses.)

“Account Description” is an informational field that is not required.

“IP Address Restrictions” can contain a comma delimited list of IP addresses from which this content provider is allowed to connect to the MMSC.

“Accept Connections Via” defines which protocols the VASP is allowed to use. We recommend enabling only MM7.

“VASP Sender Address” specfies the default sender address to be used for messages being sent by this content provider. In most instances, this would be the short code assigned to the provider.

“Allow Sender Address Override” specifies whether or not the content provider can use any sender address values other than the “VASP Sender Address”. If this field is NOT checked, then all messages sent by this content provider will have the “VASP Sender Address” recorded as the sender address. If this field is checked, then any sender address specified by the content provider will be allowed.

“3GPP MMS Version” and “MM7 Schema” should be left at their default values, unless there is a special requirement.

“MMSC Routing for Received Messages” should be set to “Standard MMS Delivery”.

Step 2: Inform the content provider of their MM7 connection settings, and ask questions about their configuration.

a.) The content provider will need to know the MM7 Server URL to which their MM7 transactions should be posted. This URL will be:

http://host.name:port/mm7/account=password

“host.name” is the IP address or host name of your NowSMS MMSC.

“port” is the “HTTP port” on the “MMSC” page of the configuration dialog”.

“account” is the “MMSC VASP” account name, and “password” is the password associated with that account.

b.) Inform the content provider that no login name, password, VASPID, VASID or Service Code is required, and that they will be authenticated based upon the IP address of their server. Ask the provider for the IP address of their server, so that you can define this IP address in the “IP Address Restrictions” field of the “MMSC VASP” definition, and so that you can open any required access in your firewall.

c.) Ask for the MM7 URL on their system to which you should post any messages for their short code. You cannot complete the provisioning of their account until you have this information.

Step 3: Provision the “MMSC Routing” definition which defines how messages addressed to the content provider’s short code will be routed to the content provider’s system.

On the “MMSC Routing” page of the NowSMS configuration dialog, press the “Add” button to define a new routing definition.

For the “Account Name”, we recommend specifying the short code assigned to the provider. This not required, but is recommended for simplifying administrative tasks.

“Account Description” is an informational field that is not required.

“Default Sender Address” should be left blank. (Warning: Do not put the content provider short code here!)

“Allow Sender Address Override” should be checked.

“Route messages to this account for recipient phone number(s)” should contain the content provider short code.

“Route messages to VASP via” should be set to “MM7”.

“Server Address” is the MM7 URL provided to you by the content provider. This is the URL on the content provider’s system to which you will connect for delivering MMS messages that were addressed to their short code.

“Login Name”, “Password”, “VASP ID”, “VAS ID” and “Service Code” can all be left blank unless the content provider has special requirements.

“Connection Type” should be set “To VASP”.

The remaining fields can be left at their default settings.

Note about MMS Accounting Callbacks

The MMS Accounting Callbacks can be used for recording billing and charging information for MMS messages sent and received by content providers. These callbacks can also be used to block certain messages from being sent or received by content providers.

The MMS Accounting Callbacks are defined in the following document: http://www.nowsms.com/support/bulletins/tb-nowsms-001.htm.

There are additional parameters in these accounting callbacks for indicating that a message has originated with or is destined to a content provider.

If the message is being received from a content provider, a “&VASPIN=xxxxx” parameter will be included in the callback URL where “xxxxx” is the “Account Name” of the “MMSC VASP” definition associated with the content provider.

If the message is being routed to a content provider, a “&VASP=xxxxx” parameter will be included in the callback URL where “xxxxx” is the “Account Name” of the “MMSC Routing” definition associated with the content provider.

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