Send an SMS

This page details the different ways you can send an SMS with TeleSign’s SMS API. You can choose from these options:

SMS API Information

This section provides general information about the SMS API.

  • The URI is
  • Authentication - You can authenticate with basic or digest authentication.
  • Use UTF-8 encoded unicode characters as inputs for all TeleSign APIs.
  • Content-Type is application/x-www-form-urlencoded

You can read more about parameters you can send in an SMS request on the SMS Request (POST) page.

Send a Test SMS

The fastest way to try out sending an SMS is with the SMS API Explorer, provided at the bottom of this section. Do the following:

  1. Click the Auth [basic] tab.
  2. In the Username field, put your customer ID.
  3. In the Password field, put your API key.
  4. Click the Body tab.
  5. In the phone_number field, enter your phone number.
  6. Click Send.
  7. If you want the code for your request, so you can see how this request is implemented using basic authentication, click the Code Generation tab and use the Language and Library drop-downs to choose the language you want your code snippet in. The Language drop-down shows you what languages you can generate code in, and the Library drop-down shows you what libraries you could use to create the code.
  8. After you send your request, you will see the Body tab and a JSON response. Look through the JSON response and save the value for the reference_id parameter. You will need this to receive transaction status results, described on the Obtain Transaction Status Results page.

Congratulations! You’ve sent your first SMS using TeleSign’s SMS API and generated your first code snippet!

You can see more about available parameters for requests on the SMS Request (POST) page.

SMS API Explorer
NOTE: When using the SMS API Explorer, you will be charged your contracted rate for each transaction. The time shown in ms is not indicative of regular transmission rates, and only applies to the SMS API Explorer.

If you would prefer to implement using one of TeleSign’s SDKs, you can find code samples for basic use cases with the SMS API on the Tutorials page.

  • message - You use the message parameter to provide your message. TeleSign APIs work with UTF-8 encoded strings.
  • message_type - When you send messages, for compliance purposes, you must label the kind of message you are sending. You can choose from:
    • ARN - Alerts, reminders, and notifications
    • MKT - Marketing messages such as promotions and coupons
    • OTP - For messages where you send a verification code only
  • phone_number - The phone number you want to send a message to.

For all available parameters you can include in your request, refer to SMS Request (POST).


You use a POST request to send your message.

Example POST Request with the SMS API
Authorization: Basic 12345678-9ABC-DEF0-1234-56789ABCDEF0:vjE/ZDfPvDkuGNsuqCFFO4neYIs=
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=utf-8
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:51:26 GMT
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 59

phone_number=15555551234&message=Your message here.&account_lifecycle_event=create&originating_ip=

Here is an example POST response:

Example POST Response
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:51:28 GMT
Server: CERN/3.0 libwww/2.17
Content-Length: 316
Content-Type: application/json

   "reference_id": "0123456789ABCDEF0123456789ABCDEF",
   "status": {
      "code": 290,
      "updated_on": "2017-31-03T14:51:28.709526Z",
      "description": "Message in progress"
   "additional_info": {
      "code_entered": null,
      "message_parts_count" : 1

Next Steps