When your gateway device fails to forward messages, the first thing to check is that you have the correct gateway settings, both on the SMS settings page, and on the gateway mobile app. If both your website settings and local gateway are set up correctly, then the you should receive a message 'Integration test passed' when saving the setting on the gateway app. If the test has passed and you still have an issue sending messages, then the issue is more likely to be on your device.

Here are a few things to look at that can help you troubleshoot your gateway device

  1. Switch to another device: Mobile devices often have hidden software, or non-standard hardware, that can prevent your gateway from working. Trying a different model device is one quick quickest way to resolving gateway issue if they result from such a problem. Note also that it is best to select a well-reviewed and capable device, with plenty of RAM memory, to serve as your gateway.

  2. Security/ Permission Settings: Check that the local gateway app has the necessary required permissions. This can be viewed in the Phone settings under security> Permissions. (For Android OS 5.0 and above users).

  3. Check your SMS balance:  Make sure that you have sufficient airtime/SMS bundle balance. The error 'Generic Failure' may pop up when the Gateway app has tried to send out a message and failed due to lack of airtime/ SMS bundle.  

  4. Cellular Network issues: If there are issues with network coverage in the area, so it is important to check your network signal. Test by sending test SMS from the gateway device to your own local number just to make sure that messages are going through. If not then there might be a network signal issue.When a low signal is indicated, test by calling the gateway from another phone to make sure the device is not off.

  5.  Correct number format: Ensure that you shared the form with the correct number. For many other countries, local dialing may have a number e.g. '0' or '1' in front of the subscriber number. With international formatting, this number must be removed and replaced with the country code. For example, here’s a UK-based number in standard local formatting: 020 7183 8750 Calling/texting this number internationally, requires you to remove the local code '0' and replace it with the country code +44: so the number should appear as +442071838750.

  6. Internet Connection: You can troubleshoot your internet connection by googling items on your phone browser to make sure that you are connected to the internet. It is also important to check the internet speed by browsing items: so when your Wifi is slower, you can try switching to mobile data.

  7. IMPORTANT: keep MagSync running and visible on the phone, with the phone unlocked: If your gateway device has a display lock setting, after a few minutes of inactivity when the app is minimized, the device usually automatically locks the display. When this happens, it can affect messaging.  For this reason, you should (1) Keep Magsync app visible (do not not minimize the application) on the phone.  This should stop the device from locking the screen. (2) Remove the device's screen lock setting (in device settings) 
  8. Message delays: If have successfully been able to share your form with multiple respondents, for example 100 contacts, and your respondents are experiencing long delays receiving proceeding questions, it may be that either (1) Your gateway phone, or (2) the Telco carrier, is throttling/limiting the number of messages per minute. Many Android devices throttle messages at 30 SMS per 30 minutes: see more. This may be the case for some users and in some situations but not in others.  You can test this by trying a different phone, or different carrier.

Possible errors when Message sending failure occurs

You are likely to come across the 'Generic Failure' error while sending messages.

  1. The most likely reason you would be receiving this error is that your Android phone does not have sufficient credit with your mobile network. Make sure that your Android phone has enough credit to send SMS messages and try again. 
  2. Another common cause of the "generic failure" is that the mobile network doesn't understand the format of the phone number you're sending messages to. For example if you have entered an invalid number  e.g. one that exceeded the number of digits for the local network carrier. To avoid this, ensure that you have entered the correct number while sharing the form.
  3. Another cause of the generic failure is sharing your form with a number that is outside the country you set up your local gateway in. Only numbers within the country can be initiated.
  4. If you are using a dual SIM phone, you might also receive "generic failure", "no service" errors when sending messages if the primary SIM is out of credit (or the primary SIM slot is empty), even if the secondary SIM is working. Magpi's Gateway app sends SMS messages from the primary SIM, so you may need to switch which SIM is the primary one.
  5. The "No Service" error indicated in the app's outgoing/ published logs, is an indication that your cellular signal is not strong enough.

To debug problems sending messages, try sending messages with the Android phone's standard Messaging app. If sending messages fails from the Messaging app, then you can be sure that the problem is unrelated to Magsync.

More on troubleshooting SMS.

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