Virtual Mobile Numbers

Learn more about VMNs and their uses

Virtual Mobile Numbers are mobile numbers that can be used to receive SMS text messages into an application from other mobile numbers or to send a text message to a mobile phone and receive a reply. They are similar to mobile numbers that belong to an person's own mobile phone.

VMNs are different from regular mobile numbers in that they are allocated to an application rather than a mobile phone. This allows applications to communicate with mobile users in the same way a mobile user would communicate with another mobile user, except that application-to-person (A2P) and person-to-application (P2A) communication can open up possibilities beyond person-to-person (P2P) communication.


VMNs are available from many mobile networks around the world. Any mobile user who can send to another mobile user of the VMN's network will be able to send to the VMN. This potentially means that any mobile user worldwide can send to the VMN of any mobile network.

Around 80 countries around the world provide VMNs. Where VMNs aren't available then other options include Virtual SIM Hosting (VSIM), Physical SIM Hosting or short codes.

Local Number

VMNs provide a local (or national) number to which mobile users can send SMS at low cost. Mobile users are normally charged more for sending to a mobile number that is from a foreign mobile network. By using a VMN from the same country as the mobile user you can ensure that sending an SMS to a VMN costs the same as sending to any other mobile user in the same country. Sending an SMS to a local (or national) mobile number or VMN will often be part of a user's inclusive allowance.

Fast Delivery

Sending an SMS message to a VMN can result in the message reaching the application in less than 1 second from the time the user presses "send". This is due to there only being one mobile phone involved in the communication rather than a mobile phone on the sending and receiving side. VMNs are associated with special equipment within the core of a mobile operator's network. There is no radio communication involved on the receiving side. VMNs can receive SMS at a significantly greater rate than regular mobile numbers.

Enabling Interaction

VMNs enable improved interaction with a mobile user. Rather than only sending a single one-way SMS text message to a mobile user, with VMNs it's possible to have a interactive conversation between the mobile user and an application. This provides a better customer experience (CX) by enabling a more natural and positive interaction with the customer that can be richer and fit closer with your processes.

With VMNs it's possible to have simple interactions giving the user a choice of 1, 2, 3, etc to select from or complex and high quality interactions using natural language. AI chatbots can be used to provide high quality customer interactions. Amazon Lex is an example of a chatbot that can be used to create a conversational interface using VMNs.

VirtualMobile - Broker

VirtualMobile makes is easy to obtain Virtual Mobile Numbers from mobile networks around the work. Use VMNs to enable your application to receive SMS and improve your customer engagement through their use.


We are a zero-commission and zero-fee broker who will match your request with a suitable supplier of VMNs.


You will normally receive a response from a supplier within 8 working hours.


You will use the service of the supplier from which the VMN is obtained to receive SMS sent to the VMN. Multiple APIs such as SMPP and HTTPS are normally available.