The Skinny on 10 Digit Long Codes

Over the past year, there has been a lot of talk about 10 Digit Long Codes (10 DLC) as carriers inch closer to launching application-to-peer (A2P) long code messaging for businesses. Below we go over the what, why, when, and who for A2P 10 Digit Long Codes.

What are A2P 10-Digit Long Codes?

Today’s 10-digit long codes were meant explicitly for person-to-person communications and are not intended for businesses to send messages to their customers. Companies currently using 10 DLC in this manner are considered to be sending messages on an unauthorized route, and carriers see this as one of the leading causes of SPAM to consumers.  

The new A2P long codes that are set to launch this year that will allow businesses to send SMS messaging on landlines and other 10-digit numbers.  

Why A2P 10-Digit Long Codes?

By creating authorized routes for A2P 10 DLC, the carriers are hoping to reduce SPAM from reaching their customers. In addition to controlling the messaging, carriers are also trying to reduce or eliminate shared short codes, which are another source of SPAM. AT&T announced its ban on most shared short codes late last year with the effective date still to be determined.  We believe at least one other carrier will institute a similar shared short code ban in concert with the general availability of long codes. Carriers believe that long codes could replace shared short codes due to their similar cost. 

What’s the Cost for A2P 10-Digit Long Codes?

Cost is still not yet determined for the new A2P long codes.  We believe leasing fees will be less expensive than short code leasing fees and anticipate carriers will implement messaging fees similar to those that exist for short code messaging.

When will long codes be commercially available?

While the dates have been moving a bit the consensus is that availability for most carriers will be within Q3 or Q4. 

Who should use A2P 10-Digit Long Codes?

A question often asked is:  When should a customer use a short code versus a 10-digit long code? Below are the key reasons to determine whether you should use a long code or a short code.

Key Reasons to use a 10 Digit Long Code:

  1. Low to Moderate Message Volume – Content providers that send anywhere from a few hundred to about 10k messages per month.
  2. Very Cost-Conscious – 10 DLC lease fees are expected to be less than short code lease fees.
  3. Local Long Codes – businesses will be able to provision their landlines as 10DLC numbers so that they can send and receive text messages with their existing numbers.
  4. Currently use person-to-person 10 DLC Routes - Content providers can continue to send text messages using a long code but will need to use authorized A2P routes.

Key Reasons to use a Short Code:

  1. Bulk Messaging & Time-Sensitive Messaging - Companies that send bulk messaging like marketing campaigns or time-sensitive messages like alert notifications should continue to use short codes as they will continue to provide the best message throughput and deliverability rates.
  2. Short codes are not subject to SPAM filtering – A2P long codes will be subject to SPAM filtering.
  3. Key Features – Delivery receipts and MMS may not be available when 10 DLC launches.
  4. Currently use short codes – continue to receive the same advantages and benefits you do today without risking subscriber churn.

As a Tier 1 aggregator with direct carrier connections, mGage will be one of the first to know when the carriers are ready, and we are here to help. Contact us if you have any questions or want to know more about 10 DLC.