Mobile Gateway Services

Mobile Phone with SMS

About Us

ICF Olson was established in 2002 as Canada’s first mobile agency and has been connecting enterprises to wireless carrier networks since the inception of the Common Short Code ecosystem. Members of our team helped establish the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and helped create the Code of Conduct that governs mobile messaging programs in Canada. We have maintained direct connectivity across Canada’s wireless carriers for nearly 15 years – processing more than 3 billion messages and launching many services that were the first of their kind in North America. We remain one of only two companies that can provide a single, direct point of integration across all of the country’s networks, using a state of the art carrier grade gateway platform deployed in our own virtual cloud and meeting the highest standards for performance, uptime, scalability, privacy, security and data governance.

We are the premium Tier-1 aggregator in Canada. This means we have connectivity to all wireless providers in Canada and the US, allowing us to reach over 449 million subscribers across North America.

What We Do

We leverage the power of short codes to build mobile communications plans that are strategic, nimble, and easily customized to your customers’ unique profiles. ICF Olson is excited about taking a leap forward in mobile engagement with Rich Communication Service (RCS).

Rich Communication Service (RCS) is an enhanced form of SMS that will replace the need for apps and mobile websites by creating fully navigable customer experiences within the context of the native messaging interface. Using RCS business messaging Brands will be able to engage mobile customers in new ways with more useful and dynamic messages that lead to a transaction, all within the native messaging interface.

ICF Olson is keeping our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the evolving market. With the rise of RCS business messaging, cloud providers, regulators and carriers have climbed on board and are working together to bring RCS business messaging into the Canadian market.

Explore RCS business messaging by visiting here, or text RCS to 24680. Standard message and data rates may apply.

What is Gateway Mobile Services?

Facilitating a two-way relationship with your customers is important. In the era of 24/7 mobile connectivity, there is arguably no better path to real-time interaction than through SMS marketing.

ICF Olson was born in Toronto as a mobile marketing start up, and has since expanded our capabilities to provide a full-service, cloud based mobile communications offering. 

ICF Olson's close relationship with the product team at carriers helped us bring new services to market such as the first mobile commerce initiatives and the first mobile donations programs in Canada. 

Carriers

Bell Mobility

Koodo

Fido

PC Mobile

Public Mobile

Vidéotron

Virgin Mobile

East Link

Freedom Mobile

Telus

Rogers

SaskTel Mobility

ICF Olson specializes in supporting International Aggregators who wish to migrate their programs to Canada but cannot directly access the regulator or the carriers.

City of Toronto logo

City of Toronto

We provide residents of Toronto a convenient and mobile solution to staying up-to-date on the status of service requests, such as household hazardous waste pickup, road repairs, and more. 

Learn More

Our market value is focused on our three C’s, Cost, Compliance, and Commitment to Uptime, Throughput and Deliverability.

Not Sure About Short Codes?

We understand that short codes can seem overwhelming. ICF Olson’s experts are here to help, every step of the way. Leveraging Short Codes for mobile marketing campaigns is powerfully effective, yet there are many steps involved in securing and activating your own. 

That's why we've broken it down into 7 simple steps. Get to the end and still have questions?

Contact Us

ICF Olson has maintained 100% short code application approval rate since its inception.

Short Codes Short Code Bubble

What's a Short Code?

Short Code Intro

Short Codes are 5 or 6-digit numbers that can be used to send and receive SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multi-Media Messages).

Why use Short Codes?

Short Codes allow users to interact with our clients via text messaging. Unlike traditional messaging, Short Codes can handle high volumes of traffic instantaneously. Short Codes are proven to be reliable and convenient, and can be used for anything from M2M (machine to machine) communication to service alerts.

How Do You Get One?

Step 1

Choose a 5 or 6-digit number, and we'll check if that short code is available.

Step 2

Once a number is selected, fill out a CWTA Short Code application and deposit form.

Step 3

Send completed application and deposit form to ICF Olson, your aggregator, for review. Once everything is complete it will be sent to the CWTA.

Why Do I Need a Deposit Form?

In order for a new short code application to be reviewed and processed by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Associations (CWTA) a $1500 nonrefundable deposit is required. This cost is directly associated with CWTA and is not affiliated with ICF OLSON.

Application is Approved...

CWTA circulates an approval letter outlining your Short Code connection dates on the carriers' networks.

Application is Denied...

The CWTA will inform ICT Olson the reason behind the Short Code being denied. ICF Olson will then work with you on next steps.

What's a connection date?
This is when your Short Code is active in the carrier's networks, but your program is not live yet.

Why is Compliancy So Important?

Compliance with Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and CWTA regulation is important in order to protect customers from receiving spam, while allowing Short Codes to be legitimate and powerful communication path. Random audits are conducted by the CWTA and non-compliance could result in fines.

Step 5

ICF Olson audits the program, ensuring it's fully compliant and follows what was approved in the application.

The CWTA performs pre-launch testing, where they test the short code and review all marketing material for program compliancy.

Short Code Passes Test...

Step 6

Short Code Does Not Pass Test...

ICF Olson will work with you to adjust the proposed campaign as necessary until it is compliant.

Step 7

Your program is ready to go live!

Want to Update Your Application

Official application amendments are required when changes are made to:
• Program type
• Pricing
• Frequency

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Start

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End

Timing:

  • Weekly applications are due on Thursday.
  • Applications are reviewed on the following Tuesday.
  • Approval letters are received by end of week.
  • On average, the total process takes about 6-8 weeks from application submission to go-live date.
  • Rogers and TELUS only provide Short Code connection dates once per month.

What's a Brown Out?

Brown out refers to when carriers will no longer issue connection dates for the rest of the year. This is a hard deadline, which usually happens at the end of October or early November. All CWTA applications must be submitted by the deadline if you want your Short Code to be connected before December. Applications submitted after the deadline will receive connection dates in the New Year.