Get ready for 10DLC – the A2P long code

The US carriers have launched 10DLC (ten-digit long code). We’re ready. Are you?

OpenMarket – May 31, 2021

There’s been a lot of buzz in the past few years about the shift to 10DLC (ten-digit long codes) by US mobile operators. Now it’s all happening.

This blog post was published in 2019, and updated on May 31, 2021

All major US carriers – Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile (which includes Sprint) – are now live with their 10DLC services.

OpenMarket is ready to roll too. We have agreements in place with all the major carriers. And you can use our Numbers self-service 10DLC tool to do everything you need to start sending and receiving messages via 10DLC.

10DLC will affect every business and organization that uses mobile messaging to communicate with people in the US. So here’s a quick reminder of what you need to know and how you can get ready.

What’s new? A 10DLC and short code recap

A2P 10DLC is both a new originator and a new way of thinking about A2P mobile messaging.

The days of using P2P (person-to-person) long codes for business messaging are coming to an end. Some US carriers will soon no longer allow businesses to message customers on long codes designed for P2P messaging. Most shared short code traffic faces a similar fate.

Short codes are the appropriate choice for big brands with large audiences – thanks to their sky-high throughput of between 100 and 1,000 messages a second (and sometimes even higher).

A2P 10DLC is another alternative – a carrier-sanctioned, 10-digit phone number for business messaging use cases. It’s a cost-effective way to reach customers – and a great option for localized messaging too. It allows nationwide businesses or retail chains to communicate with customers via local numbers that represent the branch they know and trust.

There are many other use cases that are suitable for 10DLC – like two-factor authentication, order confirmations, delivery alerts, general marketing, and appointment reminders. Mixed use cases (where a small business uses the same 10DLC number for different types of interaction) are approved too.

The difference between P2P long codes and A2P 10DLC

In the past, some businesses used multiple P2P long codes to get around the carriers’ velocity filters – a cheap way of sending bulk messaging campaigns.

The carriers will no longer allow this practice. Generally, each use case will only need one 10DLC anyway as the TPS (transactions per second) will be much higher for 10DLC numbers – dozens of TPS as opposed to 1 TPS, which is the norm for long codes designed for P2P messaging .

The exact throughput rates offered by the carriers will depend on several factors – including the type of 10DLC use case and your trust score.

This brings us to a key point. 10DLCs need to be registered and approved – just as A2P traffic on dedicated short codes is. Acquiring or transferring numbers, registering your brand and campaigns, and undergoing extra vetting if you want to increase your throughput – all of that takes behind-the-scenes admin and data gathering. Once you have this information, it will only take a few minutes to use Numbers – OpenMarket’s 10DLC one-stop shop tool – to buy, register and set up 10DLCs for campaigns.

Get started with 10DLC now

So now’s the time to start your 10DLC prep. For example, when you register a brand with the Company Register, you’ll need data such as the legal name, brand URLs, contact information, Employee ID Number etc.

Then there’s the campaign brief, where you’ll enter information about the brand, use case, campaign description, sample message, URLs, opt-ins and opt-outs, and so on.

Remember, once you’ve got the data ready, that’s most of the heavy lifting done.

Get 10DLC-ready with the indigo platform

Once this is in hand, the Numbers 10DLC tool will help you do the rest.

Use it to:

  • Search for and purchase multiple 10DLC numbers
  • Migrate your existing long codes
  • Register brand, campaign and use-case information
  • File a campaign brief with the US carriers that ask for it
  • Obtain a trust score to increase throughput of your campaigns
  • View status of campaigns and which 10DLCs are assigned to them
  • View a summary of your owned 10DLCs (and all other originators)


The tool helps you complete all necessary steps to ensure your 10DLC messaging is compliant with all the carrier rules. Requirements can vary from carrier to carrier, but if you follow the processes in the tool, you’ll be covered.

What’s your next move?

Start out strong in 2021 with the help of Numbers, which will support 10DLC for all the major US carriers. Eventually this will expand to Canada too.

As we mentioned earlier, carriers will eventually start blocking P2P long codes and shared short code traffic. There will be a period of grace after all the carriers go live. But our advice is to start preparing as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we’ve created a quick tips sheet for businesses getting ready for 10DLC.

And one for SMS providers, too.


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