What is the difference between MO (Mobile Originated) and MT (Mobile Terminated) messages?
MO: refers to a message being sent in from a mobile handset. The message is ORIGINATED at the mobile/cellphone end.
MT: refers to a message being sent to a mobile handset. The message is TERMINATED at the mobile/cellphone end.
In addition to this there are the terms MO Billing and MT Billing.
Certain networks and countries operate billing in different ways. Some support only MT billing; others only MO billing (also referred to as MO Billed Messages).
MT billed refers to when the transaction is confirmed when the message hits the handset, e.g. it terminates at the mobile.
MO billed refers to when the transaction is confirmed when the message leaves the mobile and hits the shortcode, e.g. it originates from the mobile.
Advantages of MT Billing
- Can run subscription services.
- In the event of insufficient available fund for pre-paid users the billing transaction will simply be rejected, this opens up possibilities to
retry billing the user in the future, increasing revenues.
- MT billing can sometimes, depending on regulations open up possibilities for different types of opt-in, e.g. pin based opt-in / wap based
opt-in / MSISDN billing.
Advantages of MO billing
- Can increase consumer confidence in markets, knowing that they will only be billed one-off, and reducing complaints. In litigious MT billed
countries, markets are increasingly complicated, for example insisting on double opt-in sometimes even for transactional services, or
limiting the amount of premium MT messages you can send.
- You are in a good position to identify if you will receive the money from the operators without having to use delivery reports. The carriers
check to see if the user has the credit balance available to send the premium message before passing you the MO.
- As the MT is returned to the user at a premium charge, there is no direct cost to you to send this SMS. With MO billed countries there can
be a charge to return the standard rate message.
- You don't necessarily have to return a standard rate MT to the user, although it is often required by clients to deliver the service the user
has paid for. See http://clients.txtnation.com/entries/216133-mbill-account-balance-not-showing-all-incoming-transactions if you are
operating in an MO billed country, and not returning an MT.
Other billing types
There are other variances of MO and MT billed, which are adopted in different countries worldwide. See http://clients.txtnation.com/entries/163712-all-products-what-are-the-sms-billing-types-available-what-are-mt-mo-no-do-io-mf-lc for more detail.