Get ready for 10DLC – the A2P long code

The US carriers are about to launch 10DLC (ten-digit long code). We’re ready. Are you?

OpenMarket – October 8, 2020

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. Verizon has launched its 10DLC service and T-Mobile and AT&T have ‘soft launched’, with Sprint expected to follow soon.

This blog post was published in 2019, and updated on October 8, 2020

T-Mobile is calling this a soft launch because they are not charging messaging fees until March 1st, 2021. Similarly, AT&T will also not be charging messaging fees during their soft launch, but the date they will begin to charge is yet to be determined.

T-Mobile has set a deadline of March 31, 2021, for all messaging traffic to be moved off grey-route, P2P long codes, and for shared short code traffic to be moved to dedicated codes. We’re in contact with the other carriers for updates.

These changes 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 about to disappear. Soon the carriers will start blocking A2P messages that use these P2P originators. 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 – up to 30 TPS as opposed to 1 TPS.

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 will 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.

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 self-service tools on our indigo multi-channel messaging platform will help you do the rest.

indigo will let you view your entire inventory of originators (short codes, long codes, alphanumerics) – and it’s where you’ll also be able to provision and configure your 10DLC numbers.

With our self-service tools, you can manage 10DLC purchasing, brand and campaign registration, provisioning, optin/optout management, and more.

OpenMarket and the indigo platform will support 10DLC for all major US carriers when they go live. Eventually this will expand to Canada too.

What’s your next move?

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.

We’ll be updating you with more details and more useful resources in the coming days and weeks, as more carriers go live with 10DLC.

Watch this space!

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

And one for SMS providers, too – over here.

 

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