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Basic Code Information

Choosing a Code

What type of sending number should I use based on my traffic type?
Check out the table below for a helpful guide on using your use-case to determine the best sender ID for you.

Short CodeToll-Free Number10-Digit Long Code (10DLC)
Estimated Lead Time18-12 weeks4-6 weeks5-7 business days
Approval TypeManual carrier certificationManual toll-free hub verificationTwo-step approval:
1. TCR brand registration/vetting
2. manual 10dlc hub campaign review
Usage During ApprovalNoLimitedNo
LOA RequiredNoYesYes
Pre-Launch/ProvisioningMost rigorousLeast rigorousRigorous and complex (evolving)
Transactions-per-Second (TPS)5100+ TPS6 per number25+ TPS6 per number<1-to-75 TPS per campaign7
Daily Outbound SendsUnlimitedUnlimited (once verified)Varies
Carrier Trust Level8HighestVaries9Lowest10
Delivery Receipts SupportedHandset DLRHandset DLRNetwork DLR
Opt-In & Opt-Out HandlingApplication-LevelNetwork-Level11Application-Level

1 Lead times vary based on several factors (e.g. use case, accuracy/completeness of information provided).
2 Complexity of program maintenance varies from low to high depending on program.
3 Canadian short codes are SMS-only at this time.
4 Voice support is a carrier requirement for toll-free and long code numbers and is fully available on BYON. Voice forwarding is available for leased numbers.
5 TPS varies by SMS and MMS.
6 Can be higher with special review, vetting and approval.
7 “Campaign” is a 10DLC industry term referring to all traffic and is not limited to marketing.
8 The level of carrier trust determines the likelihood of blocking or filtering. Higher trust means lower chances of being blocked.
9 Carrier trust for toll-free varies by use case and content.
10 Blocking occurs based on allotted 10DLC MNO Terms and other anti-spam policies. Additionally, read about Canada-Bound Long Code Traffic below.
11 The handling of opt-out keyword STOP and opt-in keywords START and UNSTOP is managed by the toll-free hub at the network level and cannot be adjusted at the application level. Therefore, expect network messages to be returned in response to these keywords, and for consent to be handled by the toll-free hub according to the keyword sent.

Text-Enable Business Numbers

Aerialink can text-enable most existing North American non-wireless voice telephone numbers to support SMS service, including toll-free. We refer to these as “BYON” - Bring Your Own Number.

  • Requirements: Must provide Letter of Authorization.
  • Acquisition: Contact Aerialink about our monthly BYON service fee.

Some things to keep in mind about BYON:

  • text-enabling your existing number does not impact the voice service
  • existing customers may initiate a support request to text-enable a BYON
  • upon request, customers must complete ownership verification and sign an LOA, which must be dated within the last thirty (30) days of the time of the request.
  • a single LOA can contain multiple numbers

Text-Enablement Disclaimer

Aerialink can text-enable and run messaging traffic for wireline numbers (landline, VoIP, toll-free) in the U.S. and Canada. Please note that Mobile Wireless Carriers do not allow their numbers to be text-enabled by a third party.

10DLC Long Codes

Long codes are fixed numbers enabled for two-way messaging. The number of digits in a long code varies from country to country, but the formula for their length is concrete: each number is made of a base four-to-ten digits onto which the country code is added. While many carriers worldwide recognize numbers without country code within their own borders, its inclusion is necessary when sending messages worldwide.

The North American Numbering Plan, or “NANP,” refers to the telephone numbering scheme used for public-switched telecommunications networks to route calls and messages to subscribers. The NANP format is a 10-digit number that consists of a 3-digit NPA code (commonly referred to as the “area code”), followed by a 3-digit NXX code (also referred to as the Central Office (CO) code) and a 4-digit line number. NXXs are assigned within geographic NPAs.

When Aerialink activates your long code, there are different network configuration options, such as forwarding an inbound call to either a SIP address or a telephone number (not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and a few other small pockets of domestic U.S.). Please provide any special forwarding requirements in your LC request.

  • Certification: Brand and campaign must be registered for 10DLC
  • Acquisition: Aerialink customers can order and assign long codes via the Platform Management Portal.
  • Country Code: Required

Long-Code Regionality

  • If you are registered with a local long-code number you are configured to send domestic messages.
  • U.S. Long codes are not restricted to sending messages to numbers located only within the United States. However, international rules and regulations may consider high-volume texting from U.S. or Canadian numbers to be spam and therefore block it.
  • International long codes are registered with a specific country code for localized delivery and many have coverage limited to the carriers in that same country. In most cases, end-user devices/plans will not be charged international texting fees when sending messages to codes localized to the same country as their own number. Some long codes support international delivery.

Canada-Bound Long Code Traffic

There is no unified stance across Canadian carriers regarding business (A2P) traffic on long code at this time. We have seen legitimate, low-volume traffic blocked with no option for remediation. As a result, we consider the use of businses traffic over long code to Canada to be a “send at your own risk” scenario at this time. For more information regarding long code delivery to Canada, Contact Us.

Toll-Free Numbers

Toll-free or “8XX” numbers (TFN) are easily recognized by their “area code” (NPA) which begins with an 8 and is followed by two numbers of the same value (800, 855, 877, et cetera). Please bear in mind that toll-free numbers do incur messaging charges. Message and data rates may apply according to a subscriber’s mobile plan. Subscribers who pay monthly for unlimited two-way SMS will not be charged extra for texting a toll-free number, but subscribers with prepaid plans may be charged per text to send and to receive.

  • Prefixes (NPAs): 800, 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, 888
  • Certification: Must submit for Verified Sender status prior to sending traffic.
  • Requirements: Letter of Authorization required. Fill out form online in the Aerialink Platform Management Portal.
  • Acquisition: Lease directly from Aerialink or ask about our monthly BYON service fee.
  • Country Code: Required

Toll-Free Coverage

End-User NumberEnd-User LocationCan the user send to/receive SMS from TFN?
+1 Mobile Number with text planU.S. or CanadaY
+1 Mobile number with text planOther +1 Countries (Caribbean & U.S. Territories)Varies by home carrier plan. International texting charges may apply.
+1 Mobile Number with text planRoaming on mobile network outside of +1 carriersVaries by home carrier plan. International texting charges may apply.
+1 Landline number with text planU.S. or CanadaY
+1 Landline number with text planOther +1 Countries (Caribbean & U.S. Territories)Y
Non-+1 numberAnywhereN

Toll-Free (8XX) Registry

All toll-free numbers are published to a registry, which provides a central data repository for text-enabled TFN. For information about fees and pricing structure, review the TFN Registry Fees article.

Short Codes

Short codes are fixed registered numbers five-to-six numeric digits in length. The U.S. Common Short Code Administration leases codes in the numerical range of 20000 to 999999, reserving the 10000 to 19999 range for private use. Canadian short codes lease from 10000 to 999999 with the exception of ranges 16000-17999 and 40000 to 49999, which are reserved for private use.

  • Traffic Types: All
  • Used For: Most use-cases acceptable (common: bulk, alerts, reminders, surveys)
  • Acquisition: Lease through Aerialink via country-specific governing body
  • Country Code: Not required

Short Codes vs Long Codes

Because U.S. short code programs undergo a more rigorous and lengthy certification process, operators follow due process to investigate any issues instead of immediately terminating the code (although the allotted cure time for infractions may vary based on severity). Short codes are more expensive and do take more time to launch with carriers, but advertisements, coupons, information about sales, or other promotional messaging sent to U.S. subscribers is most reliably approved and sent via U.S. short code.

Short Code Regionality

Short codes are country-specific - they operate only within the country in which they are registered, and can send only to numbers also registered within their country. To reach users in Canada, you must obtain a Canadian short-code. That same Canadian short code cannot be used to send messages to users in the United States. While it may be possible to use your U.S. short code to send to a U.S. destination number who is out of the country, that delivery cannot be guaranteed.

Alphanumeric Sender IDs

A Sender ID appears on a recipient’s phone as the source of a received message. Long codes, toll-free numbers and short codes are therefore types of sender IDs. However, there is another style of sender ID, which can be provisioned on a commercial route in supported countries. Note that they are not supported in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil and a few other countries. Further restrictions may apply depending on the destination number and local market regulations. For guidelines on sending SMS internationally, refer to our knowledge base. Delivery restrictions are known to change frequently in the international market, so contact us for more details.

Alphanumeric Sender IDs can be up to eight or eleven characters in length (depending on country) and can consist of any combination of letters or numbers ranging from A-to-Z in both capital and lower-case, as well as numbers zero-through-nine and the underscore character.

Sender ID customization capabilities are useful for message branding by setting the Sender ID as a company’s name or to the name of a campaign or product.

Aerialink customers can receive custom alphanumeric IDs once they have been approved by our provisioning team.*

  • Traffic Types: All
  • Certification: Some carriers/countries allow network white-listing of Alpha IDs to ensure delivery.
  • Acquisition: No lease required
  • Reach: Global* (Non-+1 destinations)
  • Direction: 1-way (outbound only)**
  • Country Code: Not required**
  • Voice: Not Supported

*The Sender ID feature only applies to network operators who support this feature. Custom Sender IDs will be rejected for messages bound for the U.S. and Canada due to carrier regulations. CDMA-based network operators do not support alpha characters.

Alphanumeric Provisioning

There are two provisioning variations of Alphanumeric Sender IDs:

  1. PRE-REGISTERED - Some countries require operator review and pre-registration of the desired alphanumeric sender ID prior to sending messages. You will need to provide information and sometimes additional documents, resulting in additional time before the Sender ID can be used.
  2. DYNAMIC - Aerialink will review your Sender ID, use case request, and if approved can provision it in a few business days. Operator pre-approval is not required resulting in faster provisioning.

Alphanumeric ID Configuration

A Sender ID can be set to:

  • DIGITS: five to fifteen digits.
  • ALPHA-NUMERIC: four to eleven characters in the range a-z, A-Z plus 0-9. Great for branding; one-way (outbound) messages only because the Alpha Sender ID is not a phone number and therefore cannot receive replies. NOTE: Illegitimate use of SMS spoofing (such as impersonating another person, company or product) is strictly forbidden.

Alphanumeric Regionality

Content restrictions vary by country. Alphanumeric IDs are not supported on carriers in the United States and Canada. While GSM networks in these countries are capable of allowing for Alpha IDs, they are presently against carrier regulations. Delivery Receipts are available in most markets.

Alphanumeric Compliance

Although using an Alphanumeric Sender ID is acceptable outside of North America, its ability to be altered and its inability to be responded to or traced by end-users makes it a prime target for carrier spam filters. The best way to mitigate the risks related to these sender IDs is to be compliant in all message content and to set your ID to something conspicuous of your company or the purpose of the program. That way, the end user always knows exactly what the message is about and who it is coming from.