OpenMarket – January 18, 2020
It’s been a long time coming, but the A2P 10DLC era is finally upon us.
Verizon no longer lets businesses use unsanctioned long codes (designed for person-to-person traffic) on their US network.
The Verizon shared short code policy hasn’t been announced. But Verizon and the other major US carriers are likely to limit their use because shared short codes are seen as a spam risk. Once all the major US carriers – Verizon, T-mobile, Sprint and AT&T – have launched their 10DLC services, a lot of shared short-code traffic will need to be migrated.
(We talk about the various situations in which businesses might be allowed to use shared short codes later in this post.)
Need help or advice on 10DLC or shared short codes? Get in touch here.
Verizon, short codes, and moving to 10DLC (ten digit long codes)
If your business has been relying on unsanctioned P2P long codes or shared short codes, 10DLC might be your best option. Following the Verizon 10DLC move, the other major US mobile operators are expected to launch their own 10DLC products in the coming months.
These phone numbers are about to become the new standard in A2P (application to person) messaging for many businesses. But dedicated short codes will still be available as a premium service.
What are your US business messaging options in 2020?
In 2020, businesses that want to communicate with customers via SMS and MMS in the US will effectively have three options to choose from:
1 Dedicated short codes
The monthly costs are steeper than long codes, but dedicated short codes enjoy higher carrier support, and higher potential throughput – 1,000 messages a second and more – for time-sensitive communications to large audiences.
2 A2P 10DLC
Verizon 10DLC (and the upcoming versions soon to be offered by carriers) are faster to provision than dedicated short codes, with lower monthly costs. It will be just like sending old-style long codes but with a higher messaging throughput, and better reliability and stability. A key difference between 10DLC and shared short codes is that mobile operators won’t support delivery receipts on 10DLC.
3 Text-enabled toll-free (TETF) numbers
This is a service that allows businesses to “text enable” existing toll-free phone numbers, so they have one number customers can either text or call them on. These TETF numbers have a high throughput (though not quite as high as short codes) and are secure and approved for business use.
In summary, 10DLC and TETF are messaging options for businesses that want to start messaging quickly and easily without the higher cost sometimes associated with short codes.
But short codes will remain the preferred routes for brands that want to send time-sensitive communications to large audiences.
10DLC vetting requirements
We expect at least some of the US carriers to put a vetting process in place in order to ensure its routes stay as spam free as possible. Verizon does not require businesses that use its 10DLC service to undergo a vetting process. But those that turn to 10DLC might need to have their use cases vetted and scored for spam risk if they want to get the desired messaging throughput from all the carriers.
An example of a business likely to score a low risk would be one that uses A2P 10DLC to send and receive SMS-based two-factor authorization (2FA). That’s because consumers have asked for this traffic, they respond to it, and it’s safe and necessary.
On the other end of the scale will be promotional marketing campaigns, as there’s a potential for these campaigns to be sent to consumers who may not have been opted into the campaign correctly.
Businesses that can demonstrate the quality of their traffic will enjoy optimum throughput and timely delivery of messages from all carriers.
The end of P2P long codes and shared short codes for A2P messaging
Mobile operators will use firewalls and other software techniques to rid their routes of unsanctioned long codes and shared short codes that don’t meet their qualifying criteria.
We believe shared short codes legitimately used by parent companies for individual businesses (like a chain of restaurants) will be supported, but this would be at the discretion of each mobile operator.
In October 2018, AT&T listed specific use cases it will clear for shared short codes:
-2FA / OTP
-Job postings (if the message sender is doing the hiring)
Remember, other carriers may have longer or shorter lists.
If you’re unsure about any of the above, OpenMarket can help. Let us know about the use cases you have running on your shared short codes and we can advise if they could be considered for exemption.
Your next steps
Look for a mobile messaging provider that makes the migration and sign-up process for 10DLC as simple as possible.
In summary, businesses should work with providers that allow them to easily:
– Look for and purchase 10DLC numbers
– Configure them for use
– View the status of campaigns and see which 10DLCs are assigned to them
– View a summary of all the owned 10DLC numbers and their status
10DLC help and advice
At OpenMarket, we’re here to help our customers and partners pivot and move forward as these changes take effect. We’re also here to help smooth out any migrations from shared short codes. We provide the tools, solutions, strategic advice and network access you need, while leveraging our close relationships with all the major US carriers to represent the interests of businesses.
If you need any help or advice, just drop us a line here. Or if you’re an existing customer or partner get in touch with your account manager any time.