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Basic Code Information

Your messaging application must use sender IDs to deliver SMS. Sender IDs are the numbers or letters that appear as the ‘from address’ (i.e. a mobile number or company name) for text messages. Aerialink supports five basic types of Sender IDs.

Choosing a Code

What type of sending number should I use based on my traffic type?
This key question must be answered before a prospective mobile program can become reality. Check out the table below for a helpful guide on using your use-case to determine the best sender ID for you.

Quick Code Type Comparison

Long CodeToll-FreeShort Code
Best forConversationalNon-marketing BusinessAll; bulk sends
Carrier ReachWorldwideMost +1 DestinationsSingle-Country
Send Rate1msg/2secUp to 20msg/secUp to 40msg/sec
Inbound Voice CallsYYN
Inbound to Outbound Ratio1:11:many1:many
Certification RequiredYes for A2PRecommended for A2PYes
Launch TimeSame-DaySame-Day*8-12 weeks
Short Links OKNY**Y
Carrier Block RiskMediumLow***Lowest
Vcard SupportYNY

* A2P toll-free undergoing certification may see service interruptions prior to certification completing. Certification for toll-free traffic takes 1-2 weeks, assuming all necessary information is provided.
** Certain short URL TLDs are filtered as “bad.” If your URL contains one of the “bad” TLDs, this may cause your message to be blocked.
*** Carrier blocking on 8XX numbers is largely dependent on use-case. Prohibited Use Cases will be blocked.

Code Provisioning Timelines

Below is an at-a-glance listing of provisioning times by code type. Please note that all times listed are business hours and do not include weekends or holiday - two days means two business days.

For all BYON types below, please provide or have available an LOA in case of registry conflict.

Number TypeAcquisition Typevia Platform Portalvia Provisioning APIvia Support RequestComents
10DLC Long Code (DID)Aerialink-leased15 min15 minEOD next dayNOTE: support request needed for Canadian long codes.
10DLC Long Code (DID)BYONN/A15 minEOD next day*Registry conflict may extend the provisioning timeline.
Toll-Free NumberAerialink-leasedN/AEOD next dayEOD next day
Toll-Free NumberBYONN/A15 min or 2 days**< 2 days.*RespOrgs which do not respond within 2 business days time out requests, allowing us to move forward with enablement. However, keep in mind that number registry conflicts may extend the timeline further.

* For qualified Service Providers only.
** The number must be preapproved by the existing RespOrg, else the registry process will take up to two (2) business days.

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.

  • Traffic Types: See applicable number type*
  • Used For: See applicable number type*
  • Requirements: Must provide Letter of Authorization to
  • Acquisition: Contact Aerialink about our monthly BYON service fee.

*The traffic and usage capabilities of BYONs depend on whether it’s a 10DLC or toll-free number.

Some things to keep in mind about BYON:

  • text-enabling your existing number does not affect 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 (Letter of Authorization), which must be dated withing 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. Unfortunately, in addition to wireless providers who do not allow their numbers to be text-enabled, there are some wireline number providers who sell numbers to third parties but refuse to acknowledge subscriber choice under a Letter of Authorization which allows other service providers to run the messaging. This defies number portability best practices which allow the subscriber of a number to choose the provider for any of the services running on the number. Any numbers provided to Aerialink with a Letter of Authorization which were obtained directly from one of these aforementioned providers, or in which the provider has the underlying assignment for the number, may encounter traffic interruptions and routing issues for which Aerialink is not responsible.

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.” NXX Assignments and Activations: 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 their local country (as short codes are). However, international rules and regulations may consider high-volume texting from U.S. or Canadian numbers to be spam and therefore block it. For high-volume messaging in a country other than the U.S. or Canada, Aerialink offers international A2P connections.
  • 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 have reach beyond their country boundaries, supporting international delivery. Please note that international long codes are named not because of their destination coverage, but because of our wide variety of international country-coded originating numbers.

Toll-Free Numbers

8XX numbers are often referred to as “toll-free” and 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 despite the common name, 8XX 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


End-User NumberEnd-User LocationCan the user send to/receive SMS from 8XX?
+1 Mobile Number with text planU.S. or CanadaO
+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 CanadaO
+1 Landline number with text planOther +1 Countries (Caribbean & U.S. Territories)O
Non-+1 numberAnywhereX

Toll-Free (8XX) Registry

All toll-free (8XX) numbers are published to a registry, which provides a central data repository for text-enabled 8XX Numbers. For information about fees and pricing structure, review the 8XX 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 are approved and registered, operators follow due process to investigate any issues instead of immediately terminating the code as they do with long codes. Short codes are more expensive and do take more time to get live with carriers, but advertisements, coupons, information about sales, or other promotional messaging sent to U.S. subscribers must be 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 use 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. Also, be aware that not all short codes can interact successfully with Google Voice.

Dedicated Short Codes

Dedicated short codes are leased for exclusive use by a single company or brand who takes sole responsibility for the short code’s associated setup costs and fees. The brand leasing a dedicated code must go through the full carrier certification process prior to launching their mobile campaign. Note that all short codes must be dedicated - shared short codes are no longer permitted.

International Sender IDs

A Sender ID appears on a recipient’s phone as the source of a received message. Sender IDs can be provisioned on a commercial route in supported countries. Due to local restrictions Sender IDs are not supported in some markets such as U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil and a few other countries. Further Sender ID 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.


There are two provisioning variations of 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.

Numerical or Alpha IDs

A Sender ID can be set to:

  • DIGITS: five to fifteen digits. Must be a registered long code or short code assigned to your Aerialink account.
  • 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 Sender IDs

Alphnumeric 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.

**If the Sender ID is set to a long-code fixed numeric ID, inbound messaging can be supported in most cases. In this case, the country code is required.

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.

Maintaining 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.

This page was last updated 1655482232539