All You Need to Know About A2P 10DLC

Feb 7, 2022
All You Need to Know About A2P 10DLC

10DLC (10-digit long code) is the newest service for business text messaging using SMS and MMS. 10DLC explicitly allows application-to-peer (A2P) SMS traffic over long code phone numbers for things like alerts, appointment reminders, notifications, and marketing messages.

Compared to long codes, 10DLC offers higher messaging throughput — up to 4,500 transactions per minute per operator — and enhanced deliverability, because 10DLC use cases are approved by operators. And 10DLC messaging is less expensive than using short codes.

To take advantage of this sanctioned channel, businesses must register their numbers and the campaigns for which they use them with their carriers. Registration lets carriers know who’s sending messages and what kinds of messages are being sent, so they can protect end users from spam and unwanted messages.

If you’re sending A2P text messages to US recipients and not using toll-free or short code source numbers, you should register your brand and campaigns for 10DLC. Not registering your A2P traffic will result in higher surcharges, lower throughput, increased filtering, and lower deliverability.

Plivo manages all business registrations end to end

Plivo customers can register for 10DLC through our console. Learn more about Standard registration in our documentation.

As part of the registration process, companies must indicate their messaging use cases, as these determine campaign approval and throughput. Details needed at the time of registration include:

  • Your company’s legal name
  • Your company’s country of registration
  • The type of your organization (private, publicly traded, nonprofit)
  • Your company’s tax identification number/EIN
  • Your business’s website
  • Campaign name
  • Campaign description
  • Campaign use case
  • Campaign sample messages

Campaigns for standard use cases, such as 2FA and account notification, are generally approved almost immediately, but some cases might take up to a week.

When a carrier approves a business’s registration, it allocates the maximum throughput available for a 10DLC number based on the brand and the types of campaigns it plans to run. When your brand is approved, Plivo will send you an email confirmation that provides your allocated throughput.

Businesses can map as many phone numbers as they want to a campaign. This is especially useful for resellers who have dozens of customers in their portfolios and need to assign different phone numbers to each to avoid overlap.


SMS providers pay a one-time setup fee and ongoing monthly recurring fees for every campaign registered in addition to standard messaging costs and carrier surcharge fees:

  • One-time brand registration fee — $4
  • One-time optional (but highly recommended) vetting fee — $40
  • Recurring campaign charge — $10 per month, billed quarterly
  • Standard cost per message as reflected on the Plivo pricing page
  • Carrier surcharge fee for unregistered traffic: (as of March 1, 2022, and subject to change)
AT&T $0.004/message $0.005/message
T-Mobile and Sprint $0.004/message $0.013/message
Verizon $0.00/message $0.00/message

The upside of 10DLC

When carriers first offered texting in the 1990s, long code mobile numbers were used only for low-volume person-to-person (P2P) communications. When businesses used them for high-volume A2P messaging, carriers subjected them to blocking and throttling.

Carriers introduced short codes in 2003 to handle high-volume messaging, but short codes are expensive to rent and take weeks to acquire. Carriers developed 10DLC specifically for commercial A2P messaging. 10DLC offers several benefits:

  • High messaging throughput — up to 4,500 transactions per minute per operator
  • Enhanced deliverability, because 10DLC use cases are approved by operators
  • Unlike short codes, long code numbers can be used to make and receive calls
  • Cost savings compared to short codes

All of the changes required to implement 10DLC pave the way for businesses to leverage personalized and conversational ways to engage with their customers. Visit our 10DLC support page for more information and details about 10DLC.

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