Teacher-texting service ‘Remind’ strikes deal with Bell

Services will still be disrupted for Remind users who are subscribed to Rogers or its subsidiaries

Teacher-oriented messaging service Remind has struck a deal with Bell to continue offering its services in Canada.

“We’re thrilled to share the news: Thanks to you, Bell Canada has informed us that they will #ReverseTheFee. As a result, we can continue to offer Remind text notifications for everyone who has a phone plan with Bell or its subsidiaries,” Remind said in an announcement to its customers on January 25th.

Remind is a San Francisco-based two-way messaging service that is used by students, teachers, and parents. The service can be accessed through the company’s mobile app, web app, through email and via texting.

The service overall connects 31 million customers, many of whom are primarily based in the U.S. The company was founded in 2012. In 2014 Remind raised $65 million USD (roughly $85 million CAD) in venture funding to build out its platform further.

Remind’s CEO Brian Grey said to MobileSyrup in an interview on January 11th that the service had plans to disable its texting functionality because of pushback from Rogers and Bell.

The two carriers were planning to charge 25 times the price for Remind to access their networks.

Grey said students and teachers use the service to get essential messages about bus cancellations, homework information, or gives teachers having the ability to reach parents without using their personal phone numbers.

In Canada though, the service is free, unlike in the U.S. where schools are able to use a special student package that delivers extra features apart from its free service.

This service was launched two years ago, and Grey said he hoped it would eventually make its way to Canada.

It’s important to note that Remind uses a service called Twilio, a cloud communications platform that helps software developers to make and receive phone calls programmatically, send and receive text messages and perform other communications functions using its web services.

Twilio essentially sits between the carriers and companies to deliver these types of services. Twilio is also able to perform in Canada with the help of Syniverse. Both Rogers and Bell work with Syniverse, an aggregator that operates inter-carrier text messaging.

At the time, Grey said his company tried to strike a deal with Rogers but was unable to come to an agreement successfully.

Rogers, in a statement at the time, said that it was aware of how important these services were for parents and educators but it had “made every effort to work out a more than fair agreement with them that would have met their SMS needs on our network.”

“Unfortunately, they were not satisfied,” Rogers had said.

Remind’s announcement noted though that text notifications will still be ending on January 28th for anyone with Rogers or its subsidiaries.

Source: Remind