The US messaging landscape has seen constant change as the use cases for business text messaging and SMS and MMS marketing have grown. A2P 10DLC text messaging is the most recent addition, explicitly allowing Application-to-Peer (A2P) SMS traffic over long code phone numbers (think alerts, appointment reminders, chat bots, notifications, marketing messages, etc).
Historically, local phone numbers were originally intended for person-to-person (P2P) text messaging and voice calls. They weren’t enabled to handle the high volumes and security standards needed to support the growth in use cases for SMS and MMS marketing.
Verizon saw the growth in business text messaging use cases and the increased use of long codes for A2P, thanks to personalized numbers and voice call support and jumped on the opportunity to enhance the usability of long codes and maximize profits. By removing sanctions and lifting the firewalls that prevent businesses from taking advantage of high-volume and personalized text messaging, Verizon became the first carrier to launch an A2P 10-digit long code for SMS & MMS.
Fast-forward nine months and AT&T is now following suit.
Plivo believes this service will offer our customers the best possible stability and deliverability available on long codes, as it gives businesses and organizations the power of two-way communication, with the flexibility to send more secure bulk text messages from a local number. Not to mention the lower overhead costs compared to toll-free and short codes.
However, there are a lot of nuances to AT&T’s A2P service, and we want to provide you with the latest information, so you can prepare for this change on AT&T’s 10-digit long codes. Here is everything you need to know:
All long code messaging to AT&T will be required to utilize this new service. Non-registered campaigns are subject to being blocked by AT&T starting November 1, 2020.
AT&T requires a pre-vetting process for all brands. You will be able to register your brand – which is the business you are creating the campaign for – directly through Plivo. Once your brand has been approved by AT&T, it will be marked as such in the Plivo console.
Campaigns must be submitted for approval. Once your brand has been vetted and approved by AT&T, you will then be able to start submitting A2P campaigns for approval via the Plivo console. You must indicate the use-case, as this will determine campaign approval.
Please note that we are still scoping out the new campaign registration process, and we will notify you with further details once confirmed.
Throughput and rate limits will be based on campaign-type, which are defined by use-cases. There are two types of campaigns associated with AT&T 10DLC - campaigns that can be mapped to a customer instantly without any approval, and campaigns that need explicit approval from AT&T.
Campaigns that qualify for instant approval will need the EIN number of the company registering the campaign, and include 2-Factor Authentication, Account Notifications, Customer Care, Delivery Notifications, Fraud Alerts, Higher Education, Marketing, Polling and Voting, Public Service Announcements, and Security Alerts.
Campaigns that need explicit approval by AT&T include Carrier Exemptions, Charity, Conversational Messaging, Emergency, Gambling and Sweepstakes, Political, and Social.
Throughput is not fixed for every campaign. Plivo, in association with AT&T, will help customers get the required throughput for their campaign. This throughput will be based on the risk assessment of the customer’s brand and the campaign category. If your assigned throughput is too low, Plivo will work with you and the other required parties to apply for a higher message throughput. You can reach out to Plivo directly for support on such requirements.
AT&T Termination Fees will vary based on each campaign’s throughput. AT&T hasn’t shared a thorough fee structure with any of the providers, and we will update this blog post once we receive more information. We do want to caveat, however, that Plivo will pass through these surcharge fees to you at no markup. To ensure transparency, this fee will appear as a separate line item on a customer’s monthly invoices.
AT&T expects one 10-digit long code (10DLC) phone number per campaign, so that multiple phone numbers cannot be associated with a single campaign. Any campaign needing more than one 10DLC number per campaign will need to be submitted for review by AT&T prior to order submission. You can reach out to Plivo directly for support on such requirements, and we will work with AT&T for approval on your behalf.
AT&T will not automatically segment traffic on your behalf, to ensure that messages sent to AT&T customers are always through a registered phone number. You will need to manage this yourself, which is very manual and complex to do at scale. That’s why Plivo recommends Powerpack, which is designed to automatically use the best phone number in your messaging service to send a message (which in this case, would be a registered AT&T phone number). Learn more about configuring a Powerpack here.
While this is obviously a huge influx of new information, there’s ultimately a lot of upside to these changes – it paves way for businesses to leverage personalized and conversational ways to market their customers. As 10DLC continues to roll out in 2020 and beyond, A2P text messaging will make the exchange of high-volume marketing messages, appointment reminders, notifications, and one-time passwords (OTPs) or PIN codes feel just as human as P2P messaging.
The Plivo team will continue to keep you updated on the latest news and things you need to know. Not using Plivo yet? Getting started takes just five minutes. Sign up today!