When an SMS message is sent, data travels along the provider network's transmission lines to a server. The server reads the "to" and "from" data attached to the message and decides the best route and time to send the message to the recipient. This is called an SMS gateway and works in conjunction with a database to sort SMS messages. In order to build an SMS server, the same components must be in place: an SMS gateway to encode SMS data, a database to keep the data to and from each recipient organized and a Web server that acts as the transmission line between your SMS content, the SMS server components and the end recipients.
Pick an SMS gateway application. The SMS gateway is a piece of software that encodes your messages into SMS-compliant data. There are a variety of vendors for this type of product. Select one based on feature set, price and flexibility for your SMS delivery needs.
Subscribe to a Web-hosting service such as GoDaddy, 1and1 or Rack Space. Evaluate hosting services based on monthly subscription costs, whether the server size and bandwidth meets your requirements and compatibility with your SMS gateway.
Setup a MySQL database on your server. Access the server administration panel using the user name and password provided by your Web host. Navigate to the "Database" section and click the appropriate button to initiate the database setup. Specify the name of the database, user and password for database access in the fields provided.
Install the SMS gateway application on the computer workstations that are to be used to create and send SMS messages. Give the SMS gateway access to your MySQL database by inputting the URL to the database (provided by your host), the database name, user name and password in the gateway administration panel.
Test the SMS gateway functionality. Use a test script that outlines each type of message you want to send to clients. Compose and send several SMS messages via the gateway to trial phone numbers, such as those belonging to friends or colleagues.
Read the compatibility notes for your SMS gateway and Web host to ensure they will play nice together prior to making a purchase. Take advantage of trial offers from SMS gateway application manufacturers, if applicable.