The US messaging landscape has seen constant change as the use cases for business text messaging and SMS and MMS marketing have grown. A2P 10-digit long code (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 requirements.
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 embraced the opportunity to enhance the usability of long codes. 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.
AT&T’s A2P 10DLC Update
Starting November 1st, 2020, AT&T plans to move all long code US SMS to its new 10DLC A2P platform. We expect that T-Mobile and other carriers will do the same soon after. To comply with this change, Plivo will be moving all existing and new long code SMS terminating with AT&T to their new 10DLC A2P service.
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.
Here is what you need to know about A2P 10DLC:
All long code messaging to AT&T will be required to utilize this new service.
To comply with this change, all SMS providers including Plivo are required to register your business and each of your use cases as an individual campaign with the carriers. This is required for both transactional and promotional use cases, irrespective of volume.
This is a mandatory requirement to continue sending SMSes via longcodes after the deadline. Non-registered campaigns are subject to being blocked by AT&T starting November 1, 2020.
What is campaign registration?
AT&T will now require 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.
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.
There are two types of campaigns associated with AT&T 10DLC - Basic Campaigns that can be mapped to a customer instantly without any approval, and Verified Campaigns that need explicit approval from AT&T.
- Basic Campaigns require minimal information about your use case, but only allows a throughput of 5 SMS/minute (Throughput Per Minute - TPM).
- Verified Campaigns require additional business details like EIN/Tax ID to enable a higher base throughput of 30 SMS/minute (Throughput Per Minute - TPM).
You are allowed to register 1 Basic Campaign and up to 12 Verified Campaigns for your business. Each campaign registered will be charged as indicated below. We expect that the carriers will introduce additional protocols around being able to increase this base throughput to a much higher number over time. If you need additional TPM for your use case please contact us at email@example.com with more details about your use case and we will get back to you.
What is the cost to register a campaign?
SMS providers will pay a one-time setup fee and an ongoing monthly recurring fee for every campaign registered.
One Time Setup Fee:
- $4 per campaign registration for both Basic and Verified Campaigns
Monthly Recurring Fee:
- Basic Campaign: $2/month per campaign registration
- Verified Campaign: $10/month per campaign registration
Plivo will pass-through these underlying fees to you as-is without any additional charges.
Are there any additional usage charges or surcharges for each SMS sent or received?
We do expect an additional fee for each message on the platform and that other carriers (T-Mobile, Verizon) will begin charging for this as well from Q1 2021.
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!