A specialized number designed to send and receive bulk SMS text messages.

What are short codes?

A dedicated short code is a multi-digit number that can send and receive SMS messages with mobile phones. Short codes come in two varieties: vanity and random. A vanity short code is a specific number that you choose when you lease your short code. A random short code is one that is assigned to you when you lease it, and cannot be reviewed or exchanged. Often, random short codes are shared by a number of brands. Shared short codes are shared among customers and use keywords to identify traffic designated to an intended user.

What is the difference between a short code and a long code?

Short codes enable your application to send SMS at 30 messages per second. Conversely, a long code can send one message per second. Thus, short codes are perfect for applications that need to send SMS messages to lots of users or need to send many time-sensitive messages. Additionally, based on the type of application you build and the messages you're sending, a short code may be the only type of number that can support your use case. Examples of applications that are best on a short code are: marketing communications, large-volume messaging, one-way notifications to users, and SMS marketing messages.

Where do short codes come from?

There is a central registry that was created by the U.S. mobile carriers to administer short codes. CallFire will lease a short code on your behalf from this registry.

How do short codes work?

SMS gateway providers like CallFire and Clickatell have special arrangements with the major mobile carriers around the world to send two-way SMS traffic. These SMS gateway providers, also known as aggregators, will send and receive SMS traffic to and from the mobile phone networks' SMS centers, or SMSCs, which are responsible for relaying those messages to the intended mobile phone. The aggregators then receive feedback from the SMSC as to the status of the delivery of that message. This relationship between the aggregator and SMSC allows for the transmission and reception of a large number of SMS messages to and from a short code.

What is the difference between a shared short code and a dedicated short code?

Dedicated short codes are yours and yours alone. Shared short codes are utilized by many companies, with traffic differentiated by keywords.

How much does short code messaging cost?

Depending on which SMS gateway provider you use — U.S. to U.S. traffic, inbound and outbound, standard number or short code — the average cost of an SMS text message is $0.01 to $ 0.05 per message.

What are SMS centers (SMSCs)?

A short message service center (SMSC) is responsible for handling the relay of SMS text messages for the major telecom carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile. When an SMS message is sent from a mobile phone, it will reach an SMSC first. The SMSC then forwards the SMS message towards the destination. The main duty of an SMSC is to route SMS messages and regulate the process. If the recipient is unavailable (for example, when the mobile phone is switched off), the SMSC will store the SMS message. It will forward the SMS message when the recipient is available.

Most of the major carriers run their own SMSCs. You must know the address of the wireless network operator's SMSC in order to use SMS messaging with your mobile phone. Typically, an SMSC address is an ordinary phone number in the international format. A mobile phone should have a menu option that can be used to configure the SMSC address. The SMSC address is usually preset in the SIM card by the wireless network operator, which means you do not need to make any changes to it.

What is a message delivery report?

After receiving an SMS message, the recipient mobile phone will send back a message delivery report to the SMSC to inform whether there are any errors or failures. (Example causes: unsupported SMS message format, not enough storage space, etc). This process is transparent to the mobile user. If there is no error or failure, the recipient mobile phone sends back a positive delivery report to the SMSC. Otherwise, it sends back a negative delivery report to the SMSC.

If the sender requested a status report earlier, the SMSC sends a status report to the sender when it receives the message delivery report from the recipient.

If the SMSC does not receive the message delivery report after a period of time, it concludes that the message delivery report has been lost. The SMSC then resends the SMS message to the recipient.

What is an SMS aggregator?

SMS gateway providers are often referred to as aggregators. The aggregators have multiple agreements with the large mobile network providers, such as Verizon and T-Mobile, to send and receive text messages through these networks' SMSCs.

What is a direct-to-mobile gateway?

Direct-to-mobile gateways allow SMS text messages to be sent and/or received by email, from webpages or from other software applications, by acquiring a subscriber identity module (SIM) card. Direct-to-mobile gateways are different from SMS aggregators because they are installed on an organization's own network and connect to a local mobile network. The connection to the mobile network is made by acquiring a SIM card from the mobile operator and installing it in the gateway. Direct-to-mobile gateway appliances are usually used when the texts per month number in the low hundreds or low thousands, and are not used as an enterprise solution.

How do consumers regulate short code traffic to their mobile phone?

If the recipient responds HELP or STOP to a short code, the gateway provider should stop SMS messages from being sent.

What are the output restrictions on SMS short codes?

Short codes can send up to 40 messages per second (2,400 per minute). This is different than long codes, which can only output one SMS per second. As such, short codes are th

What are SS7 providers?

SMS gateway providers are often referred to as SS7 providers. SS7 refers to a protocol of transmitting and receiving a text message from a mobile phone to the large carriers' SMSCs. The SMS gateway providers, or SS7 providers, have special agreements with the large mobile networks to send and receive messages via the mobile networks' SS7 protocol.

What is SS7 protocol?

SS7 refers to the protocol of transmitting and receiving text from the large mobile carriers to the mobile phone destinations. Aggregator or SMS gateway providers don't have access to SS7 protocol, so they must drive all their traffic to the large mobile networks.