What is a long code?
SMS long codes refer to a standard 10-digit dedicated phone number that enables a business to receive SMS text messages, voice and fax from anywhere in the world. Unlike short codes, which are generally shared across many brands, long codes allow businesses to have their own dedicated phone number to receive and transmit SMS text messages. These long codes are intended for person-to-person communication, similar to the way cellphone texting plans operate.
How do long 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 long code.
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. Normally, the SMSC address is preset in the SIM card by the wireless network operator, which means you do not need to make any changes to it.
What are the key differences between short codes and long codes?
There are a number of important factors in choosing between long codes and short codes. Long codes are standard phone numbers, such as 1 (213) 221-2289. Short codes are the much smaller, five- to six-digit numbers that you typically see used in marketing and promotions: For instance, "Text A to 55444 to get a discount on your next order." The key distinction between the two is that long codes are intended as a person-to-person communication tool, whereas short codes allow for the bulk messaging that is typical of marketing and emergency notification campaigns. A business can receive text messages to their long code, but a high volume of SMS to or from a single phone number may trigger carriers' spam filters and blacklist your long code.
Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:
Pricing. Long codes can be significantly less expensive than short codes. A standard long code usually costs between 1 to 2 dollars and between 2 to 5 cents to transmit text messages. Short code pricing varies depending on whether it is a shared code, where a number of brands share the number, or a unique dedicated short code. Shared short codes allow businesses to purchase a keyword, which act as a reception mechanism for a business's SMS text traffic. These keywords range from 15 to 30 dollars a month. Purchasing a unique short code for a business or app, however, can be quite costly. The average price for a random short code is $3,000 per month and $4,500 for a vanity short code. Long codes are significantly more affordable than short codes because they are not intended to transmit a large volume of SMS text messages.
What is an SMS aggregator?
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.
What are SS7 providers?
What is SS7 protocol?
Can toll-free numbers be used as a long code to send or receive SMS text messages?
Toll-free numbers are not connected to the SMS system in the U.S. or Canada, so there is no current way to enable a toll-free number for SMS. Carriers that receive an SMS message destined for a toll-free number will not deliver it, as they have no mechanism for routing such messages.