Send SMS

To send a message you will need to make a HTTP POST request to the following url:
POST URL: http://api.africastalking.com/version1/messaging
The server expects:
Parameter Location Description Required
API key Header API key generated from your account settings Yes
Accept Header This is the format you would like your data formatted. It may be application/xml or application/json. The default is application/xml. The gateway classes provided uses appliaction/json. No
username Body This is your username Yes
to Body The recipients Yes
message Body This is the message to b sent Yes
from Body Shortcode or alphanumeric that is registered with your Africa's Talking account. If missing, the default value (20414) will be populated on the message No
bulkSMSMode Body This parameter will be used by the Mobile Service Provider to determine who gets billed for a message sent using a Mobile-Terminated ShortCode. The default value is 1 (which means that the sender(The AfricasTalking account being used ) gets charged). This parameter will be ignored for messages sent using alphanumerics or Mobile-Originated shortcodes. The value must be set to 1 for bulk messages No
enqueue Body This parameter is used for Bulk SMS clients that would like deliver as many messages to the API before waiting for an Ack from the Telcos. If enabled, the API will store the messages in its databases and send them out asynchronously after responding to the request No
keyword Body This parameter is used for premium services. It is essential for subscription premium services. No (Essential for subscription premium services)
linkId Body This parameter is used for premium services to send OnDemand messages. We forward the linkId to your application when the user send a message to your service. No (Essential for onDemand services.)
retryDurationInHours Body This parameter is used for premium messages. It specifies the number of hours your subscription message should be retried in case it's not delivered to the subscriber. No

Upon successful processing, the server shall respond in the following format:
XML
                        
<?xml version="1.0"?>
  <AfricastalkingResponse>
   <SMSMessageData>
     <Recipients>
       <Recipient>
         <number>+254711XXXYYY</number>
         <cost>KES YY</cost>
         <status>Success</status>
         <messageId>ATSid_1</messageId>
       </Recipient>
       .
       .
       .
       .
       <Recipient>
         <number>+254733YYYZZZ</number>
         <cost>KES XX</cost>
         <messageId>ATSid_2</messageId>
       </Recipient>
       
      </Recipients>
    </SMSMessageData>
  </AfricastalkingResponse>
 
JSON

{"SMSMessageData":
  {"Recipients":
    [
      {
       "number"    : "+254711XXXYYY",
       "cost"      : "KES YY",
       "status"    : "Success",
       "messageId" : "ATSid_1"
      },
      .
      .
      .
      .
      {
        "number"    : "+254733YYYZZZ",
        "cost"      : "KES XX",
        "status"    : "Success",
        "messageId" : "ATSid_n"
      }
    ]
  }
}
Example using CURL client
curl -v -H "Accept: application/xml" -d "username=myusername&message=hello test&to=+254711XXXYYY,+254733YYYZZZ" -H "Apikey:fb752d3417021812f0961y6c9464832dd1adb1
e555c73f1e7c32bcc006488674" -X POST http://api.africastalking.com/version1/messaging --insecure

You need your AfricasTalking username and APIKey for any request to our API. If you don't have an APIKey, please click here to get one

Send messages using PHP

The PHP code snippet below shows how to send SMS Messages using our API.

The code uses our PHP gateway class: AfricasTalkingGateway.php [ Download]

Also, please ensure that you have the php_curl module enabled. To enable it uncomment the line: ;extension=php_curl.dll in php.ini and restart apache

Sending a Message

<?php
// Be sure to include the file you've just downloaded
require_once('AfricasTalkingGateway.php');

// Specify your login credentials
$username   = "MyAfricasTalkingUsername";
$apikey     = "MyAfricasTalkingAPIKey";

// Specify the numbers that you want to send to in a comma-separated list
// Please ensure you include the country code (+254 for Kenya in this case)
$recipients = "+254711XXXYYY,+254733YYYZZZ";

// And of course we want our recipients to know what we really do
$message    = "I'm a lumberjack and its ok, I sleep all night and I work all day";

// Create a new instance of our awesome gateway class
$gateway    = new AfricasTalkingGateway($username, $apikey);

// Any gateway error will be captured by our custom Exception class below, 
// so wrap the call in a try-catch block

try 
{ 
  // Thats it, hit send and we'll take care of the rest. 
  $results = $gateway->sendMessage($recipients, $message);
			
  foreach($results as $result) {
    // status is either "Success" or "error message"
    echo " Number: " .$result->number;
    echo " Status: " .$result->status;
    echo " MessageId: " .$result->messageId;
    echo " Cost: "   .$result->cost."\n";
  }
}
catch ( AfricasTalkingGatewayException $e )
{
  echo "Encountered an error while sending: ".$e->getMessage();
}

// DONE!!! 

Sending messages: Use short code/Sender id

<?php
//Sending Messages using sender id/short code

require_once('AfricasTalkingGateway.php');

$username   = "MyAfricasTalkingUsername";
$apikey     = "MyAfricasTalkingAPIKey";

$recipients = "+254711XXXYYY,+254733YYYZZZ";

$message    = "I'm a lumberjack and its ok, I sleep all night and I work all day";

// Specify your AfricasTalking shortCode or sender id
$from = "shortCode or senderId";

$gateway    = new AfricasTalkingGateway($username, $apikey);

try 
{
   
   $results = $gateway->sendMessage($recipients, $message, $from);
			
  foreach($results as $result) {
    echo " Number: " .$result->number;
    echo " Status: " .$result->status;
    echo " MessageId: " .$result->messageId;
    echo " Cost: "   .$result->cost."\n";
  }
}
catch ( AfricasTalkingGatewayException $e )
{
  echo "Encountered an error while sending: ".$e->getMessage();
}

// DONE!!! 

Sending messages: Queue messages to be sent later

<?php
//Message queueing 

require_once('AfricasTalkingGateway.php');

$username   = "MyAfricasTalkingUsername";
$apikey     = "MyAfricasTalkingAPIKey";

$recipients = "+254711XXXYYY,+254733YYYZZZ";

$message    = "I'm a lumberjack and its ok, I sleep all night and I work all day";

$from = null; //$from = "shortCode or senderId";

$bulkSMSMode = 1; // This should always be 1 for bulk messages

// enqueue flag is used to queue messages incase you are sending a high volume.
// The default value is 0.
$options = array("enqueue" => 1);

$gateway    = new AfricasTalkingGateway($username, $apikey);

try 
{
   
   $results = $gateway->sendMessage($recipients, $message, $from, $bulkSMSMode, $options);
			
  foreach($results as $result) {
    echo " Number: " .$result->number;
    echo " Status: " .$result->status;
    echo " MessageId: " .$result->messageId;
    echo " Cost: "   .$result->cost."\n";
  }
}
catch ( AfricasTalkingGatewayException $e )
{
  echo "Encountered an error while sending: ".$e->getMessage();
}

// DONE!!! 

Sending premium rated (subscription) messages

<?php
// Sending premium rated messages
require_once('AfricasTalkingGateway.php');

$username   = "MyAfricasTalkingUsername";
$apikey     = "MyAfricasTalkingAPIKey";

$recipient = "+254711XXXYYY";

// Specify your premium shortCode and keyword
$shortCode = "XXXXX";
$keyword   = "premiumKeyword";

// Set the bulkSMSMode flag to 0 so that the subscriber gets charged
$bulkSMSMode = 0;

// Create an array which would hold the following parameters:
// keyword: Your premium keyword,
// retryDurationInHours: The numbers of hours our API should retry to send the message 
// incase it doesn't go through. It is optional

$options = array(
            'keyword'              => $keyword,
            'retryDurationInHours' => "No of hours to retry"
           );
           
$message = "Get your daily message and thats how we roll.";


$gateway    = new AfricasTalkingGateway($username, $apikey);

try 
{ 

  $results = $gateway->sendMessage($recipient, $message, $shortCode, $bulkSMSMode, $options);
  foreach($results as $result) {
    echo " Number: " .$result->number;
    echo " Status: " .$result->status;
    echo " MessageId: " .$result->messageId . "\n";
  }
}
catch ( AfricasTalkingGatewayException $e )
{
  echo "Encountered an error while sending: ".$e->getMessage();
}

// DONE!!! 

Sending premium rated (onDemand) messages

<?php
// Sending onDemand premium messages
require_once('AfricasTalkingGateway.php');

$username   = "MyAfricasTalkingUsername";
$apikey     = "MyAfricasTalkingAPIKey";

$recipient = "+254711XXXYYY";


$shortCode = "XXXXX";
$keyword   = "premiumKeyword"; // $keyword = null;

$bulkSMSMode = 0;

// Create an array which would hold parameters keyword, retryDurationInHours and linkId
// linkId is received from the message sent by subscriber to your onDemand service
$linkId = "messageLinkId";

$options = array(
            'keyword'             => $keyword,
            'linkId'              => $linkId,
            'retryDurationInHours' => "No of hours to retry"
           );
           
$message = "Get your daily message and thats how we roll.";

$gateway    = new AfricasTalkingGateway($username, $apikey);

try 
{ 
  $results = $gateway->sendMessage($recipient, $message, $shortCode, $bulkSMSMode, $options);
  foreach($results as $result) {
    echo " Number: " .$result->number;
    echo " Status: " .$result->status;
    echo " MessageId: " .$result->messageId . "\n";
  }
}
catch ( AfricasTalkingGatewayException $e )
{
  echo "Encountered an error while sending: ".$e->getMessage();
}

// DONE!!!