10DLC is Replacing Long Codes for A2P Messaging

If you’re sending texts in the US using long codes, you need to understand 10DLC

10DLC is an initiative on the part of US cellular carriers to reduce spam texts and increase consumer trust, while increasing the messaging volume a 10-digit long code can handle. 

10-digit numbers were designed for person-to-person (P2P) and not application-to-person (A2P) communication. When businesses began doing long code texting, carriers needed a solution that protected consumers from messaging spam. 10DLC registration is designed to ensure that end users receive text messages that are verified and valid, and allow legitimate businesses to send a higher volume of messages.

Like a lot of technology, 10DLC comes with some jargon. A brand is a business entity that a 10DLC number represents. Brands send out messages in campaigns — think of a campaign as the type of messages the brand intends to send, or a use case, such as delivery notifications or two-factor authentication. Mobile network operators use an independent organization called The Campaign Registry (TCR) as a central hub for brand and campaign registrations. TCR can vet brands — check their identity and reputation. Vetted brands and campaigns gain higher throughput — a higher number of messages they’re allowed to send per second, minute, or day. 

Preparing for 10DLC

All major US mobile network operators now require you to register long codes if you use them for A2P messaging. If you’re working with a long code service provider and you’re not currently 10DLC-compliant, then your long code SMS strategy is severely limited. 

To send A2P SMS messages using long codes, you need to register your brand and messaging campaigns and link numbers to those campaigns, which you can do from the Plivo console. 

Plivo lets you register two kinds of brands:

  • Starter brand: A low-cost 10DLC option for individuals and small businesses
  • Standard brand: A 10DLC option for businesses that have a valid tax identification number/EIN.

10DLC benefits

10DLC brings many benefits for carriers, carriers’ customers, and businesses.  Carriers protect their consumers from unwanted and nuisance messaging spam. Businesses gain higher throughput than they could with the unregistered long codes and have a more affordable alternative to short codes and toll-free numbers. End users get increased confidence and trust in their No. 1 means of communicating with businesses. 

Noncompliance penalties

To provide incentive for businesses to gain these benefits, carriers penalize organizations that fail to comply with 10DLC regulations. Penalties include fines, surcharges, limited throughput, and higher filtering on unregistered brands, campaigns, and numbers, which can result in lower deliverability — fewer texts getting to end users. Certain SMS platforms ban organizations from sending messages that continuously violate 10DLC regulations. Your long code SMS strategy is rendered nearly useless without 10DLC compliance.

Register now

It’s imperative that you make 10DLC compliance a top priority if you want to use long codes for A2P messaging. Plivo has a number of articles about 10DLC on our support portal. Check them out if you have questions, and if you haven’t done so already, register your brand and campaigns right away. 

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