EBS: 10DLC and Upcoming SMS Changes in the U.S. Wireless Market

Topic:

10DLC and potential SMS changes in the U.S. wireless market.

Description:

Introduction:

In an effort to reduce spam, wireless carriers in the United States are pushing for changes to enterprise SMS messaging, also known as A2P (Application to Peer) messaging. As a result of these changes, Everbridge clients may be impacted in how SMS messages are sent to U.S. recipients (+1 phone numbers) through the Everbridge platform in the near future.

At a high-level, the impact to Everbridge clients will be:

  • For non-emergency messaging, you will need to use a brand-specific code, also known as a sender ID. That is, using the current Everbridge shared short code may no longer be an option.
  • For emergency messaging, you will need to use a different code than what is used for your non-emergency messaging and will have to prefix your messages with the words EMERGENCY or CRITICAL.

As part of this effort, carriers have introduced 10DLC (10 Digit Long Codes), with the intent of having an affordable alternative to short codes that every brand or enterprise can provision to use for their SMS messaging needs.

The below FAQ delves into the details of these changes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is 10DLC?

10DLC stands for 10-Digit Long Code. It is a term used in the United States SMS market when a business uses a sanctioned (10-digit) phone number as the sender ID for its enterprise SMS messaging. Although “long codes” are available for lease from mobile carriers in various countries, the term “10DLC” is only used in the United States market.10DLC is generally less expensive than short codes.

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  1. What is a Short Code?

A "short code" is a sequence of digits, typically 5-6 digits long, used as the sender ID for enterprise SMS messaging. Short codes are available for lease from mobile carriers in various countries, including the United States. Short codes are generally more expensive to lease and maintain than 10DLCs.

  1. What is a shared code?

A "shared code" is an SMS sender ID (short or long) that is used by multiple enterprises, or brands, for their SMS messaging. For example, all Everbridge codes, including our 89361, 87844, and 88911 U.S. short codes are considered “shared codes” because we use them as the sender ID for multiple clients.

  1. Why does Everbridge use shared codes?

Shared codes have been the norm for enterprise SMS messaging for 2+ decades because of the cost-prohibitive nature of short codes for individual businesses and the lack of the more affordable 10DLC option until recently.

  1. Is it true that U.S. wireless carriers are pushing for all businesses to move to 10DLC?

Not quite. Carriers want to eliminate SMS spam, and to do so they want to get every entity or business who sends messages to use their own brand-dedicated registered code (sender ID). This code can be a short code or a 10DLC. Note that Everbridge does offer Client-Dedicated SMS Short Codes; if you are interested in this option please contact your Account Manager. We do not yet offer 10DLC, but plan to have them available for our clients sometime in 2024.

  1. What are the specific rules that carriers want followed and the impact on Everbridge clients?

As part of the effort to eliminate shared codes, carriers noted that there is a legitimate case for them when it comes to emergency/critical communications. Therefore, some specific rules have been established to allow emergency messaging to continue on shared codes. In detail, here is how things will materialize for Everbridge clients when all of these changes are in place:  

  • For non-emergency messaging:
Every brand (typically, this is each Everbridge client) will need to have a dedicated and registered code (or sender ID), where
  • “Dedicated” means the code is used solely by a single brand; no sharing of codes.
  • “Registered” means the code is registered through the proper channels. For example, a 10DLC would be registered through an entity known as TCR (The Campaign Registry). A short code is registered through the carriers via SMS aggregators (this is something that Everbridge does for clients who purchase the Client-Dedicated SMS Short Code feature today.)
  • “Code (or Sender ID)” means either a 10DLC or a short code.
  • For emergency messaging:
  • A brand can continue to use use the existing Everbridge shared short codes, such as the 89361, 87844, 88911, as long as the message is prefixed with the words EMERGENCY or CRITICAL.
  • Alternatively, a brand can use a 10DLC, as long as it is different from their 10DLC used for non-emergency messaging. This means a brand would have to provision two codes: one for non-emergency messaging (a 10DLC or a Client-Dedicated SMS Short Code) and a 10DLC for emergency messaging. In this case, messages must again be prefixed with the words EMERGENCY or CRITICAL.
  1. What are the pros and cons of 10DLC vs short codes?

  10DLC
Example: 818-230-9700
US Short Codes
Example: 89361
Client-Dedicated Sender ID Yes. As mandated by the carriers, a 10DLC must be dedicated to a single brand (typically, this is each Everbridge client). The default Everbridge short codes are not client-dedicated, but rather shared codes used across all clients.

Everbridge does offer client-dedicated short codes as a premium offering for those clients who are interested in this option. Please contact your Everbridge Account Manager for pricing and details.
Throughput AT&T places a TPM (Transactions Per Minute) limit on every 10DLC. The TPM is based on the use case of the code as determined during the registration process. It can vary between 75 TPM for standard use cases and up to 4500 TPM for emergency use cases. AT&T is currently the only carrier that caps throughput. No throughput limits on the Everbridge shared short codes.
Capacity T-Mobile places a daily cap on every 10DLC. This cap is based on the use case of the code as determined during the registration process. It can vary between 2000 messages/day on the low end and up to 200K messages/day on the high end. Government entity use cases are not capped. T-Mobile is currently the only carrier that uses daily cap limiting. No daily cap on the Everbridge shared short codes.

 

  1. What is the timeline for these changes?

The carriers would like to have their rules implemented by all entities as soon as possible. However, they also understand that in some cases these changes, especially for those in the critical communication space such as Everbridge, require significant changes to processes for both the provider (Everbridge), as well as the clients using the provider’s platform. As a result, carriers are working individually with each enterprise who is using shared codes to provide them the time necessary to migrate away from their shared code(s) to a 1-code-per-brand model.  

On the Everbridge side, we anticipate to be able to offer 10DLC to our clients sometime in 2024. Until we bring about 10DLC, our shared short codes will continue to be used unchanged and without any special consideration necessary from clients (ex: you do not have to prefix your messages with "EMERGENCY" or "CRITICAL").



 
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