What are the different types of SMS messaging?


Person-to-Person SMS (P2P) is a type of text messaging traffic that is common in human-to-human communication. P2P should neither send or receive more than one message per second (MPS), and the ratio of messages delivered to received should be roughly one-to-one.


Application-to-Person SMS (A2P) is business texting that is sent from an application to a person. Unlike P2P messaging, A2P allows for the sending of automated texts, which can exceed the one message per second limits imposed by P2P. Special numbers, such as toll-free, short codes, and sanctioned local numbers known as 10DLC, are required for A2P (10 digit long code).

How to send A2P SMS traffic?

Choosing a number for sending and receiving texts is a key step towards creating a new and crucial communication channel with your clients. Prior to using SMS for your business, there are a few things you should know:

Short Code

Short codes are numbers with five to six digits that are used to convey high-volume, high-throughput A2P texts. Short codes can also be used to communicate in two directions. Voice calls cannot be made using short codes.

Toll-Free SMS

Toll-free SMS allows for high-volume, high-throughput texts to be sent over toll-free numbers (800, 888, etc). Most existing toll-free numbers can be enabled to send SMS. Toll-free SMS allows for two-way communications, allowing recipients to reply as they would to a normal text or call the number if it’s been voice-enabled.

10DLC (10-digit long code)

Like short codes or toll-free numbers, 10 digit long codes (10DLC) are sanctioned 10 digit local phone numbers that are permitted for high-volume, high-throughput transmission. 10DLC numbers, like toll-free numbers, can handle two-way communication and voice calling, however they have a carrier cost to use the A2P route, similar to short codes. Because the industry is still implementing 10DLC, it isn't generally available now, but it should be by the end of 2020.

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