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Are You Ready for 10DLC?

April 7, 2021

Telesign Team
A woman looking at an SMS appointment confirmation.

What is 10DLC?

10DLC stands for “10-digit long code”. Also known as” commercial long codes”, these phone numbers are about to become the new standard in Application to Person (A2P) text messaging for many organizations. Don’t worry; it may sound confusing, but it’s actually quite simple.

A 10DLC is just a standard 10-digit phone number that supports the high-volume messaging throughput required for business use cases. 10DLC allows for A2P traffic to go through US long code numbers via a Mobile Network Operator (MNO).

A2P 10DLCs have been specially designed and sanctioned for business messaging. They offer simplicity, stability, delivery reliability, and security to businesses and their audiences. They’re also built to support the volume of messaging that almost any business use case might require.

Why Change to 10DLC?

The US long codes widely used by businesses in previously were only ever designed for person-to-person (P2P) communications. These have low volume throughput, so they’re less equipped to handle a high number of incoming and outgoing text messages, and they lack desirable security standards. US carriers are introducing 10DLC as a dedicated, more secure solution for businesses to send SMS and to protect consumers from spam, while allowing for higher messaging volume and more affordability than traditional messaging traffic.

Benefits of 10DLC

Dedicated Numbers for Increased Security

Traditionally, businesses have shared short codes. In some cases, thousands of brands will use a single number. While this has worked for years and continues to do so, there’s an inherent problem that carriers see with shared short codes, and that is accountability; if someone is sending spam, or violating their guidelines, it becomes much more difficult to identify who’s at fault. Furthermore, in order to shut down these spammers, a carrier would have to shut down the entire short code which would terminate thousands of other innocent business messaging programs that are likely playing by the rules. A 10-digit long code allows each business or organization to have their own dedicated number.

Increased Customer Engagement with Higher Messaging Volumes

10DLC numbers are capable of supporting SMS message volumes that are somewhere between the limits of short codes and toll-free long codes. Currently, 10DLC messaging can send messages at a rate of approximately 5 to 15 messages per second. So, a 10DLC number is much more applicable for A2P text messaging needs than a local long code. In addition, 10DLC numbers will be endorsed by carriers and the messages sent on these numbers will have fewer delivery issues and a greater chance of reaching the intended recipient.

Voice-Enabled for Optimizing Brand Experience

Aside from the messaging functionality, 10DLC numbers also differ from current short codes by supporting voice as well. This allows you to send and receive text messages on the same number that customers can simply pick up the phone and dial. Keeping your point of contact in one place helps to create a much more cohesive brand experience for consumers who are interacting with their favorite businesses.

What You Need to Know

Major networks including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have all already gone live with 10DLC numbers. If you are currently use P2P Long Codes, they will be blocked for A2P traffic, meaning you will not be able to send SMS if you do not switch to an alternative.

When choosing an alternative, you can select one of three options:

  • A 10DLC number
  • A Toll-free Number – provides a recognizable, free of charge calling interface through toll free numbers
  • Dedicated Short Code – high volume SMS enabled numbers that provide a consistent and unique identifier

Some businesses will still be better off using a short code, depending on their expect message volume and SMS budget. However, a 10DLC number will better support businesses who want to optimize their A2P messaging formats, volumes, and costs.

To get started with 10DLC, contact Telesign. Our industry experts will assess your current SMS messaging situation and provide best practices to help you optimize your messaging workflows and cost structure.  We can also help you register a new 10DLC number and/or convert existing long codes to 10DLCs.

The switch to 10DLC as a norm is expected to be a game changer for many different industries. It presents opportunities for businesses to reach more customers than ever before with A2P messaging. Make sure to checkout our 10DLC registration page for additional information and other frequently asked questions.