Intelligent Solutions

Simwood Mobile OTT

Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

1st December 2016

As we hinted last week, we’re delighted to finally announce:

  • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
  • In bundle UK mobile numbers

In both cases you can take a proper UK mobile number and have calls delivered to you over SIP, with SMS over HTTP(s). It can be a new number assigned by us, or you can port in from other UK operators.

As you know, MNP has been in the pipeline for a good while but rather than a tied association to one of our SIM cards, numbers are now floating with no need for a SIM card. With calls delivered by SIP you can of course map them to a PBX to which a mobile app is registered, giving true convergence, or all manner of other options.

Whilst we still believe that controlling the SIM card offers the ultimate in control, there are many benefits to operating your mobile service through a virtual mobile number and an over-the-top (OTT) app, including:

  • Quality – enjoy full HD, even without mobile coverage.
  • Security – encryption between your app and server, not the phone and radio operator. You can even use end-to-end encryption if supported both ends.
  • Cost – we know our mobile SIMs came at a premium price point compared to the high street deals. Doing it OTT enables you to leverage high street deals, or let your end-users choose MNO for themselves.
  • Flexibility – need your mobile number delivered to the office, or an on-call number delivered to 8 devices in rota? That is trivial through our API or your own routing logic.
  • Roaming – no costly shenanigans. Use your mobile number the same overseas as at home, at the same cost.

There are some compromises of course in trying to offer a true mobile service via an app but a lot has changed there in the last 12-18 months and the direction of travel definitely favours the app. Battery life was one but we think we’ve overcome that, native integration was another and things are massively improved there too. We have a Simwood Mobile app for people wanting to use mobiles as trunks on the Simwood platform and it’ll be in app stores soon.

But you do not need to use our app to use our mobile numbers – they work exactly like our non-mobile numbers and we know you’ll have some amazing applications for them. In conversations with key customers over recent months there have been a number of interesting applications surface such as using them for SMS notifications such that the recipient can call or SMS back – theoretically possible with SMS-enabled geographic numbers right to the point the recipient gets confused. Or porting in all those numbers on expensive corporate contracts so they natively integrate with the PBX. Even parking mobile numbers somewhere without needing to maintain an expensive contract.

Given what we’ve learned in recent months, this feature will not be available to all account-holders so to request access on your account please drop a note to the Operations Desk and they’ll get back to you. For enabled accounts this will all be available in the portal and API next week but we’re happy to process urgent requests manually.

As for charges (at the time of writing), they’re really simple:

OTT Number Type NRC (GBP) MRC (GBP)
Ported mobile number £10 per submission £1 per month
Allocated OTT mobile number £10 set-up (charged as a Gold Number fee) £1 per month

As with all our numbering, these can be cancelled at any time. Our Operations Desk can also provide PACs to enable porting out* OTT numbers or previously ported in mobile numbers.

We hope you share our excitement and we can’t wait to see what you build!


* This does not apply to our 075200 which are for non-production use only at the present time.

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