SMS Gateway and Shortcode

What is Short Code?

CSCs are five-digit numbers that can receive Short Messaging Service (SMS) messages, just like normal 10-digit numbers. But they are far more user-friendly, easier to remember, and compatible across all participating carriers, i.e. customers of Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless can send text messages to the same short code. CSCs — short strings of numbers to which text messages can be addressed — allow wireless subscribers to access applications on all participating wireless carriers’ networks and give content providers access to millions of SMS subscribers. The possibilities are endless: voting and polling, contests, surveys, direct marketing, chat, games, etc., can all benefit from CSCs. Each short code requires registration with all national carriers if you are planning to run a national program. This enables all users, independent of their respective carrier, to send a message to the same number or receive a message on their handset. To avoid many of the pitfalls of the internet (spam and unsolicited messages), the registration requirements of a mobile initiative and the short code to support it are strictly regulated. In the USA, each short code should be approved by CSCA. In Canada CWTA is responsible. The Mobile Marketing Association is a mobile industry association currently at the forefront of establishing best practices and industry guidelines with carriers and application providers.

What is Dedicated Short Code?

A short code can be registered to be dedicated to only one program – a popular example is American Idol. In this case, the number of parameters that recipients enter is one or two. The recipient types the name of their favorite singer and sends it to the short code. With shared short codes, ‘Keywords’ are defined for different purposes. For example, if you look for a pizza in a given area, you start your text with ‘pizza’ followed by your zip code, but if you use a dedicated short code you would only enter the zip code and the program by default, will search for pizza stores.

What are Premium and Standard Short Codes?

With Standard Short Codes, users won’t be charged for sending messages (MO: Mobile Originated Messages) or receiving messages (MT: Mobile Terminated Messages). With Premium Short Codes the user is charged on their cell phone bill for the message sent or received. The amount of each message will be defined with carriers, who normally charge a commission to invoice the user.

Short Code Set Up and Provisioning

Companies who have established their connections with carriers are called aggregators. They send a request to carriers’ gateway and carriers push back an MO upon arrival. MIT’s gateway is connected to all carriers in North America and hundreds of carriers globally, so independent of country or carrier, you can reach most cell phone users around the world. In order to register a short code, you must follow specific rules and regulations. Experts in short code registration, MIT, have streamlined the complex registration process reducing the average process time to 9-12 weeks (it used to be 6-8 weeks, but practically by considering couple of weeks needed to prepare the application forms and website, it takes usually longer).

Short code provisioning service

Here is a highlight of what we provide to provision your short code:

  • Full service Short Code provisioning (Application preparation, leasing, Carrier approval, monitoring and reporting)
  • Consultation with our experts to advice you of Carrier expectations, regulations and compliancy requirements.
  • Ongoing coverage expansion as new Carriers become available
  • Built-in modules to comply with required Carrier regulations and compliance (HELP & STOP)
  • Regular updates and reports from our dedicated Short Code Provisioning team
  • No monthly fee until the code is live with at least three carriers
  • Provide you with insights and updates to industry direction as an active member of Mobile Marketing Association
  • A leading service provider with thousands of mobile programs provisioned
  • Live operator to answer consumer inquiries

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