Plivo provides XML and HTTP APIs that serve as building blocks for companies to integrate telephony and text messaging capabilities in their applications without requiring a thorough understanding of telecommunication infrastructure. The company says its mission is to simplify global telecom and enable access to quality cloud communications at a low cost.

The company was founded in 2011 when co-founders Mike Ricordeau and Venky Balasubramanian met on Github looking for a communications platform that could add voice and SMS capabilities to their web applications. After not finding one suitable for their needs, they decided to build their own. This project became Plivo Open Source, which soon received enough of a following to continue development into the complete cloud platform that the service has become today.

Plivo has received funding from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Qualcomm Ventures, Battery Ventures and Y Combinator. It has three office locations including headquarters in San Francisco, a second office in Bengaluru, India and a third in Dublin, Ireland.

Plivo is privately held, has been profitable 2014, has more than 180 employees and counts more than 70,000 customers among its clientele, including recognizable names such as Zynga, Experian, GoDaddy, Greyhound, Atlassian, IBM, LogMeIn among many others.

Plivo's Help & Support Options:

  • A detailed knowledge base covering information about phone numbers, SMS short codes, number porting, billing, SDKs & APIs, SIP trunking, Phlo, general frequently asked questions and more.
  • A guide section with getting started and how-to articles about all products and services.
Plivo Products & Services:

Plivo’s services are centered on providing SMS and voice APIs which allow customers to integrate texting and calling capabilities in their site and/or software. Along with SMS and voice APIs, Plivo offers a drag and drop platform for creating custom call flows, as well as a new SIP trunking service named Zentrunk that allows subscribers to make calls globally with their VoIP infrastructure.

SMS API Integration Features:

Plivo’s SMS API can be integrated in your site or software and touts capabilities including the ability to send and receive SMS surveys, the ability to configure alerts, notifications & reminders, an SMS auto-responder that can automatically respond to customers while you are away, and two-factor authentication. Other features include:

  • Message Queueing
  • Number Pooling
  • Long Message Concatenation
  • Handle opt out Intent
  • Area-code Geomatch
  • Default Message Body Purging
  • Support for any Character Set
  • Message Feedback API
  • Sticky Sender

SMS API Integration Pricing:

Pricing options include preset rates that are applied depending on your usage (pay as you go), and the company offers volume discounts through its sales department. Rates depend on the country and the follow prices reflect SMS text message charges in the United States:
  • Regular Phone Numbers: $0.0050/SMS to send, $0.0000/SMS to receive
  • Toll Free Numbers: $0.0058/SMS to send, $0.0058/SMS to receive
  • Short Codes: $0.0045/SMS to send, $0.0045/SMS to receive
  • Carrier Passthrough Fee for Short Codes:
    • T-Mobile – $0.0025/SMS inbound, $0.0025/SMS outbound
    • Sprint – $0.0050/SMS inbound, $0.0050/SMS outbound
    • Cricket – $0.0025/SMS inbound, $0.0025/SMS outbound
    • MetroPCS – $0.00/SMS inbound, $0.0075/SMS outbound
    • AT&T – $0.00/SMS inbound, $0.0025/SMS outbound
    • Verizon – $0.00/SMS inbound, $0.0025/SMS outbound
Voice API Integration Features:

Plivo’s voice calling API provides technology for integrating VoIP services in a website or software, enabling you to call phones, SIP devices, apps or a browser. The API supports capabilities such asholding conference calls, taking voice surveys, receiving voicemail, forwarding calls and building powerful voice call workflows. Full features include:

  • Play Audio Prompts – Play pre-recorded audio files at any time during a call. Create prompts, announcements or music on hold.

  • Text to Speech – Speak dynamic text in 28 accents across various languages. Choose from female and male voices.

  • Dual Channel Call Recording – Record, store and retrieve your calls as you like. Recordings are dual channel by default and stored encrypted.

  • Custom Caller ID – Improve connect rates with your outbound calls. Set custom as your caller ID number that you’d like to show up on the end users phone.

  • Get Digit Input – Collect digits from users keypad during a call. Control your call flow based on such input.

  • Global Conference Calling – Integrate multi-party calls, audio conferencing into your apps or build advanced contact center functionality.

  • IVR Menus – Create multi-level IVRs with flexibility of audio & text for prompts. Direct callers to the right agent, team or department.

  • Call Transfer – Build advanced contact center experiences with functions like assisted/warm transfer or simply cold transfer.

  • Parallel and Sequential Dialing – Forward calls to multiple phones at once or in sequential order. Build flexible call hunting sequences.

  • Call Whisper – Announce custom whisper messages before an incoming call is answered by a sales or support agent to set context.

  • Answering Machine Detection – Detect if an outbound voice call was answered by a human or an answering machine. Perform next steps accordingly.

  • Voicemail Transcription – Never Listen to Another Voicemail. Our premium voicemail transcriptions are real time, higher quality and very accurate.

  • Voice API Platform Queueing – Make multiple calls in a single API request. We handle call queueing for you so you don’t have to worry about building that.

  • Text to Speech – Speak dynamic text in 28 accents across various languages. Choose from female and male voices.

  • Realtime Call Notifications – Receive real-time callbacks over webhooks. Fetch detailed information including call duration, call status, billing info using our API.

  • Detailed Debug Logs – Debug and troubleshoot issues and problems faster with detailed logs. Drill down to the details to find the root cause.

  • Server Side SDKs – Program in your web language of choice with our server side SDKs in Java, C#, Python, Ruby, Nodejs or Golang

  • Reusable Templates – With a vast library of ready to use templates you can add powerful functionality quickly by writing minimal code.

  • Optimized Points of Presence – Our PoPs in 6 regions (California, Virginia, Singapore, Frankfurt, Sydney, Sao Paulo), means your calls are routed with lowest latency & highest voice quality.

  • Direct In-country Carrier Connections – Your voice calls are delivered using the one hop local in country carrier, directly connected with our nearest PoP for minimal latency & ensures no out-of-region audio looping.

  • Quality based routing – Our intelligent data-driven routing engine ensures that all of our downstream carriers are prioritized in real time based on quality including Average Call duration.

  • Any Phone Number – Connect phone calls over PSTN without having to deal with the complexity of telecom carriers in 200+ countries.

  • Browser Based Web Application – Integrate high quality voice calling into your web application using our pre-packaged javascript based browser SDK.

  • SIP Trunk – Connect and control your existing SIP infrastructure. Add powerful functionality to your existing systems on the cloud.

  • Mobile Application – Add voice calling into your iOS and Android apps using our powerful Mobile SDK optimized for battery life.

  • SIP Devices – Connect to your existing SIP enabled phones. All hardware and software phones that support SIP are supported.

 

Plivo also offers millions of toll-free, local, national and mobile numbers in over 120 countries and counting.

  • Toll-Free Numbers (Voice) – Increase your brand recall, credibility, sales with a better customer experience
  • Local Numbers (Voice + SMS) – Voice and SMS enabled regional numbers for localizing your business
  • National Numbers (Voice) – Voice-enabled National numbers to make and receive calls at attractive
  • Mobile Numbers (SMS + Voice) – High throughput SMS capable National numbers with inbound and outbound voice capabilities
  • SIP Devices – Exclusive Brand recognition for your message with higher throughput and performance
  • Bring Your Own Number (SMS + Voice) – Port your existing number at ease. Use your old number with Plivo features.
  • Quality inventory
  • Number Porting Facility
  • Compliance with Local Regulations
  • High Reputation Score
  • APIs and SDKs to Search/Purchase
  • Multi-function Numbers
  • Instant provisioning and activation
  • Prorated rentals
  • Call Whisper
  • Infinite scalability with unlimited channels
Voice API Integration Pricing:

Plivo offers pay as you go pricing as well as the ability to outline custom volume pricing by speaking with the company’s sales department. Pay as you go pricing varies by country. For the United States, rates are broken down as follows:

  • Regular Phone Numbers: $0.120/min to make calls, $0.0085/min to receive calls
  • Toll Free Numbers: $0.0030/min to make calls, $0.0180/min to receive calls
  • SIP Phone, Browser or App Calls: $0.0030/min to make calls, $0.0030/min to receive calls
  • Outbound voice calls to these destination prefixes:
    • 1 Prefix – $0.0120/min
    • 1900 Prefix – $0.06030/min
    • 1907 Prefix – $0.1790/min
    • 1808 Prefix – $0.0340/min
Zentrunk SIP Trunking Features:

Global Connectivity, unlimited concurrent calls with flexible pay-as-you-go pricing. Connect your VoIP infrastructure in minutes.

  • Guaranteed Quality – Your calls are terminated through one hop local carriers to give you low Post Dial Delay, guaranteed features such as CLI and DTMF and no out-of-region audio looping.
  • Global Infrastructure – Our PoPs, located in 6 regions (California, Oregon, Frankfurt, Singapore, Sydney, Sao Paulo) across 5 continents ensure that you experience low latency and high voice quality.
  • High Availability and Uptime – With a redundant infrastructure across multiple geographies and at least 3 local carrier connections across countries, Zentrunk promises a 99.95% uptime.
  • IP Authentication – Authenticate and access your SIP trunks using IP or credentials for added security.
  • Encrypted Trunks – Secure your trunks with Transport Layer Security (TLS) & Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP).
  • Fraud Protection & Alerts – Our systems automatically detect and alert you of fraudulent activity on your account.
  • Interoperability – Interop with standard Softswitches and IP-PBXs.
  • Self Service Portal – Easily access and manage your account analytics, logs and SIP trunks.
  • Separated Trunks – Each trunk has a unique SIP domain for easy traffic segmentation & management.
Zentrunk SIP Trunking Pricing:

While custom volume pricing is available as with other Plivo services, pay as you go rates in the United States are as follows for outbound SIP trunking:

  • Regular Phone Numbers: $0.0065/min outbound
  • United States 800 Numbers: $0.000/min outbound
  • United States Hawaii: $0.320/min outbound
  • United States Alaska: $0.1770/min outbound
Phlo Features & Pricing:

Plivo’s “Phlo” platform enables drag & drop call flow creation with pre-built templates that can be tailored to your needs. Call flow options include many of the capabilities already mentioned above, such as the ability to send account alerts, dispatch notifications, set custom reminders, record important customer information with voicemails while you are away, send & receive SMS and conduct surveys via text messages, call forwarding to another device such as your home or office number, conference calls to communicate with multiple people at once, as well as scalable cloud IVR for intelligent call routing.

Building call flows with Phlo is free. You only pay for calls & SMS. The company also boasts that Phlo supports the entire Plivo API and XML set, enabling customers to build flows from basic notifications to full-fledged call center. The service is hosted on Plvio’s infrastructure requiring no servers of your own.

Editor’s Bottom Line:

Aiming to simplify how businesses integrate communications in their applications, Plivo provides APIs that enable embedded voice calling and text messaging with flexible pay-as-you-go pricing. Since launching in 2011, the company has helped thousands of businesses of all sizes build voice and SMS applications including call centers, conferencing, two-factor authentication, mobile notifications, and more.

The company prides itself on not only offering simple solutions for customized cloud communications, but also competitive rate including volume discounts for larger customers as well as coverage that spans the globe instead of remaining largely exclusive to the U.S. or other limited geographies.

Beyond hosting infrastructure and developing the tech stack that powers its voice calling and text messaging, part of the simplicity of Plivo’s service stems from its assortment of prepackaged templates that reduce the amount of code required to integrate communication technologies in your application.

Likewise, the company’s Phlo platform provides a graphical user interface where you can drag and drop options to build custom call flows, and this feature is free for customers to use as desired – you only pay for the calls and text messages that come through your account.

While similar capabilities are available with larger cloud communication companies, few can claim to be as affordable or as flexible with pricing as Plivo.