Airsob: A super cheap, highly reliable SMS API for Nigerian Web and Mobile Apps


Does your web or mobile app send out SMS? If it does, odds are that you are using bulk SMS to do this. Bulk SMS is great because it’s cheap and fast but as a result of misuse, a lot of restrictions have been placed on it making it highly unreliable. For instance, if you send an SMS via bulk SMS to an MTN number after 8pm, it won’t be delivered until 8am the following day. And if you include a phone number in your SMS, Glo won’t deliver it to their subscribers. And with the advent of DND list and the fact that MTN placed some of their subscribers on the list randomly, there’s really no way to know which of your users will receive your SMS and which won’t. Simply put, with bulk SMS, there is really no guarantee your SMS will be delivered to your users.

Enter Airsob.

Airsob is a direct-to-mobile gateway which uses its own built-in wireless GSM connectivity to send your SMS directly to your users’ mobile phone. This is the same technology a mobile phone uses to send SMS to another mobile phone so delivery is almost certainly guaranteed as it is not plagued with the numerous restrictions placed on other SMS gateways. Plus, it’s super cheap. With a flat fee of N1.50 per SMS, it is even cheaper than bulk SMS. And with our shared mobile number, you can receive SMS on your web or mobile apps free of charge or even host your own dedicated mobile number for as low as N3000 a month. So whether it’s sending or receiving SMS, we’ve got you covered.

We’re perfect for two way communications or mission-critical messaging where delivery is crucial. Interested? Check us out on

Review, comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

CAVEAT: Airsob cannot be used for bulk SMS or unsolicited marketing messages.

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@Light Can you grant us beta access. Its team Klipboard with @henryC . I just filled your invite field


@akachukwu We can grant beta access probably from next week.


@Light side Question: sincerely speaking, what’s the rationale behind all the “sob” names?


@Diakon Since the answer to that question is super cheesy, I’ve replied you as PM.


Is it a sob story?


@PapaOlabode Lol. It’s not a sob story oh. The sob was not gotten from the english word.


Your name, I get


Lol @Ari_Biton. That’s probably why you’re an awesome developer.


I have a cheap android phone with Telerivet installed so all SMS to that number end up on the server.

I get SMS cheaper than N1.50

I have a registered Sender ID so DND does not apply to my business.

So what can air-sob do for me?


Registered sender ID? Who are the issuers…how do I get one?

@uduak check PM.


@Uduak If you already send SMS cheaper than N1.50 and you have a way of receiving SMS on your server, then I don’t really think you need Airsob, especially if your SMS provider is reliable.

Airsob was primarily created for two reasons: reliability and two-way communications. So if you already have these covered, then you don’t really need Airsob.

For @87_chuks and others interested, you can get a registered Sender ID not affected by DND from most major bulk SMS providers. For example, SMSLive247 offers this. You can read up more on here. However, this is only for registered companies and sending SMS costs a premium at N3.50k per SMS.

While this is a much welcome development, please note that DND is not the only restriction placed on bulk SMS gateways in Nigeria. If you are sending mission-critical SMS where delivery is crucial, bulk SMS may still not be the best way to go.


A use case for us is sending OTP to complete transaction. This is where Airsob fits in for us.We’ll be expecting your beta invite.


What differentiates this from Jusibe? :thinking:


Although both Airsob and Jusibe allow you send SMS using their API, the two services are completely different. For instance:

  1. Airsob allows you send SMS using normal mobile numbers as Sender ID while Jusibe allows you send SMS using alphanumeric or alphabetic characters as the Sender ID.

  2. Airsob can facilitate two way communication because SMS are sent using normal phone numbers while Jusibe cannot.

  3. Sending SMS costs N1.50/SMS on Airsob and N2/SMS on Jusibe.

  4. Airsob uses a direct-to-mobile gateway to send your SMS so your SMS is delivered to your users mobile phone without restrictions like DND, delivery issue after 8pm and other restrictions placed on other SMS gateways while Jusibe uses a direct-to-carrier gateway where SMS go through all these restrictions.

So although Airsob and Jusibe provide you with API to send your SMS, they should be used for different type of services. As mentioned above, Airsob is best for two way communications or mission-critical messaging where delivery is crucial.

PS: Someone from Jusibe can always correct me if I got something wrong about their service.


@Light It’s been 3 days into the week and I havent still gotten the private beta access. Is your product not ready?


@akachukwu The SMS API is ready; we’ve been using it in-house for about four months now, since MTN ruined SMS business for everyone.

However, we only started seriously considering opening up the platform to the public last week after I was contacted by @87_chuks for a beta invite.

So although the platform itself is ready, we’ve not included things like registration, a payment platform to purchase SMS credit, tracking transactions and stuffs like that. That’s what we’ve been trying to put together since last week so we can accommodate users not within our company.

I’ll definitely get in touch with you before the week runs out. Sorry for the delay.


@Light I am also interested in private beta access. Please let me know.


So… Airsob is finally ready for beta invites. If you’re interested, you can send me a private message here or send me an email at sorbari [at] Please don’t forget to hit us back with your feedback. We’re all about improvements.


Airsob is really on to something, the service is fast and reliable. If you really want to deliver mission critical SMS like say for tokens and critical info, you definitely should use it. I have written a laravel channel wrapper to make it easier to use as laravel 5.3 Notification channel Good job @Light