What is A2P 10DLC?

Notice Sept 30, 16:00 Pacific - All T-Mobile fees postponed, no longer slated for October 1, 2021:
T-Mobile originally planned to increase per-message fees for unregistered long code messaging to T-Mobile (incl. Sprint) users, as well as impose a one-time $50 Campaign activation fee, starting October 1. These fees are now both postponed until further notice.

On October 1, the cost of Brand registration for Direct customers will increase from $4 to $44 to include the cost of Secondary Vetting, which Twilio has been covering for these customer categories until this date. This is a pass-through fee.

If possible, register now to benefit from improved deliverability and increased throughput in the new verified A2P 10DLC ecosystem.

Direct Customers sending fewer than 3,000 messages per day (peak) to the US and using 5 or fewer long code numbers do not need to take any action at this time.

Special Use Cases are now supported, however if you are a 527 Political Organization, please see our guidance for you in our Special Use Cases article before proceeding with registration.

If neither of these special circumstances apply to you, register now to benefit from improved deliverability and increased throughput in the new verified A2P 10DLC ecosystem.

A2P 10DLC refers to a system in the United States that allows businesses to send Application-to-Person (A2P) type messaging via standard 10-digit long code (10DLC) phone numbers. Carriers in the US consider all Twilio traffic to be A2P. Carriers’ A2P 10DLC offerings provide better delivery quality and lower filtering risk than long code SMS of the past, using the same phone numbers.

Direct Customers sending fewer than 3,000 messages per day (peak) to the US and using 5 or fewer long code numbers do not need to take any action.

Special Use Cases are now supported, however if you are a customer registering a special use case requiring additional carrier approval or a 527 Political Organization, please see our guidance on Special Use Cases before proceeding with registration.

If neither of these special circumstances apply to you, register now to benefit from improved deliverability and increased throughput in the new verified A2P 10DLC ecosystem.
 A2P 10DLC comes with new registration requirements for businesses who intend to send long code messages to AT&T in the US.

Starting May 1, 2021, AT&T carrier fees went into effect on all Twilio messages to AT&T subscribers. T-Mobile’s carrier fees for both registered and unregistered traffic began June 1, 2021.

What do I need to do?

If you do not send any messages to users in the United States using long code numbers, you do not need to do anything.

If you send messages to the US using your own brand (Direct Customers), but you always send fewer than 3,000 messages per day to the US using 5 or fewer long code phone numbers, you do not need to do anything at this time. Twilio is working on a streamlined registration for hobbyists, independent developers and small businesses whose messaging volume never exceeds this threshold. If you are an ISV that has customers sending below these thresholds, you will still need to register them using ISV Starter Brands, but will not need to pay Brand or Campaign registration fees. 

If you are a customer registering a Special Use Case requiring additional carrier approval or a 527 Political Organization, please wait for more guidance from Twilio before proceeding with registration. We will communicate to you via email and via our Special Use Cases FAQ.

If you send more than 3,000 messages per day or use more than 5 long code numbers for messaging to the US, you must complete registration. A2P 10DLC registration can be done in the Twilio Console, or if you are an ISV-type customer, you may choose to use our registration API for ISVs to register yourself and your client businesses.

For a more detailed overview of what information you will need and how to begin, see How do I register to use A2P 10DLC messaging?

Read on for details of the rules and requirements under the new A2P 10DLC registration system, and answers to many common questions.

Article contents:

How does A2P 10DLC work?

There are two important requirements under the new A2P 10DLC system:

  1. Businesses must identify who they are to the carrier networks (Brand registration).
  2. Businesses must register what type of messages they are sending, i.e. notifications (Campaign registration). 

Registration is done entirely through Twilio’s Trust Hub. We have integrated with The Campaign Registry (TCR) to meet the requirements of carriers, while making it easy for businesses to onboard. 

For additional guidance, please see How do I register to use A2P 10DLC messaging?

Do I need to register? If so, what’s the deadline?

We strongly recommend customers complete registration as soon as possible. This requirement applies to all businesses sending more than 3,000 messages per day to the US, or who use more than 5 long code numbers for messaging to the US (regardless of message volume).

Dates and deadlines for business registration

May 1, 2021:

AT&T’s carrier fees will begin for all customers, at a fixed cost of $0.002 per outbound SMS segment and $0.0035 per outbound MMS segment. Twilio will pass these fees on to our customers with no additional markup.

These AT&T carrier fees will remain in effect for all message traffic until AT&T's transition period for onboarding ends, at which point AT&T's full fee schedule goes into effect.

We are collaborating on a new registration deadline and will provide at least 30-day notice before the transition period officially ends.

June 1, 2021:

T-Mobile's carrier fees for both unregistered and registered traffic ($0.003/segment per outbound or inbound SMS, and $0.01 per outbound or inbound MMS) will go into effect. Twilio will pass these fees on to our customers with no additional markup.

October 1, 2021:

Notice: Additional T-Mobile per-message and Campaign activation fees were originally slated to go into effect on this date, however this has been postponed as of September 30.

Brand registration cost for Direct customers and ISV parent accounts will increase from $4 to $44 to include the cost of Secondary Vetting, which Twilio has been covering for these customer categories until this date. This is a pass-through fee.

AT&T and T-Mobile have stopped accepting escalations for unregistered messaging traffic that is blocked by automatic message filters, increasing the importance of registration.

End of AT&T transition period for per-message fees, T-Mobile fee increases - dates TBD:

AT&T's Campaign-based fee schedule goes into effect for messages to users on AT&T's network.  The per-message fees associated with of unregistered SMS and MMS to AT&T increases. AT&T fees will vary from $0.002 to $0.004 per outbound SMS segment and $0.0035 to $0.005 per outbound MMS depending on your use case.

T-Mobile per-message and Campaign activation fees will also go into effect at a later date.

End of A2P registration transition period - date TBD:

AT&T and T-Mobile will increase filtering (blocking) and/or impose penalties for non-registered 10-digit long code traffic sent to users on their network. Sending messages from long code numbers without registration may no longer be possible.

What if I am just testing, or sending a low volume of messages to the US?

If you always send fewer than 3,000 messages per day to the US using 5 or fewer long code phone numbers, you do not need to do anything. Twilio is working on a streamlined registration for hobbyists, independent developers and small businesses whose messaging volume does not exceed this threshold.

If you are an ISV-type Twilio customer with clients who fall below this threshold (3000 messages and 5 or fewer long code numbers), those clients are eligible for registration under our Starter Brand solution.

What happens if I don't register?

At a later date (to be announced by carriers), increased message filtering will apply to messages that are sent without registration, or unregistered messaging to the US via long code numbers will cease to be supported altogether.

For details, see What pricing and fees are associated with the A2P 10DLC service?

How does US A2P Brand registration work? 

When you complete your US A2P Brand registgration, your Brand will receive a Trust Score from 0 to 100. This rating influences the maximum message throughput that will be allocated to each of your Campaign use cases (see below).

What is a Trust Score, and how does it affect me?

When you complete the registration of your Brand and Campaign(s) for A2P Messaging through the Twilio Console, that information is sent from Twilio to The Campaign Registry (TCR), a 3rd party at the center of this new registration system. As of July 22, Twilio also automatically submits your Brand for secondary vetting, which uses a reputation algorithm to review specific criteria relating to your company, and assign a Trust Score that will determine your messaging throughput and T-Mobile daily message limits.

How do Trust Scores influence message throughput?

Trust Scores are grouped into three levels, from lowest to highest. Your Trust Score level, combined with your Campaign Type, will determine the message throughput that is allocated to your campaign use case.

For details, see Message throughput (MPS) and Trust Scores for A2P 10DLC in the US.

What’s a campaign use case?

This represents a messaging use case, for example sending account notifications or conducting marketing. In carrier terminology, these are called "Campaigns." For more specificity, Twilio is calling them campaign use cases.

Some companies may only need to register one campaign use case, in other scenarios you may have multiple. For example, if you are a company that sends authentication codes to validate new users, but you also send marketing messages, you should register two campaign use cases.

What do the campaign use case options mean?

Your campaign use case describes the type of messaging you plan to send. This will influence the price you pay per message on AT&T.

Use cases vary from notifications and fraud alerts to customer care to social updates. For a full list of campaign use cases, please see: List of Campaign Types and Use Case Types for A2P 10DLC registration

Customers can create up to 50 campaigns per use case (e.g. 50 marketing campaigns, 50 political campaigns). To create more than 50, please reach out to Twilio support with explanation for why more than 50 campaigns of that type are required. 

Do I need to go directly to The Campaign Registry or any other non-Twilio website to complete registration?

No. Registration can be completed entirely through Twilio. Twilio has integrated directly with The Campaign Registry (TCR) to facilitate registration for our customers. This offers you other benefits of Twilio’s Trust Hub.

If you are an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), you can apply to Twilio for an exception to allow you to go directly to TCR for your US A2P Brand and Campaign registrations, and use those registrations for your message traffic on Twilio. If you aren't sure whether you are an ISV or a direct customer, see
Am I a direct customer or an ISV (for A2P 10DLC registration)?

However, before considering this option, we strongly recommend you review this crucial information about requirements and limitations when registering directly with TCR.

Do I need to buy new phone numbers to use this A2P 10DLC service?

If you are already using long code numbers, there is no need to buy new numbers. You will enable your existing numbers to use the new A2P 10DLC service by following the registration process.

See also: How do these rule changes affect short codes and Toll-Free numbers? Should I switch to 10DLC?

My company provides services to multiple other brands or companies as an ISV (independent software vendor). What do I have to do?

If your company is an ISV, you will need to register your own Business Profile and Brand, then register each of your client US A2P Brands and Campaign Use Cases. Twilio is continually working on ways to make this process as smooth as possible for ISV customers, especially those with many clients.

First, you’ll register your own company as a Primary Business Profile in the Trust Hub on your primary Twilio account.

For registering your end clients, Twilio will be offering two options:

  • Starter Brand: For clients sending fewer than 3,000 SMS message segments and MMS a day to the United States using 5 or fewer long code numbers. These clients can be registered with reduced customer data, and no Brand and Campaign registration fees. More information on Starter Brand registration can be found in our blog post on A2P 10DLC Starter Brands and in our ISV Starter A2P 10DLC Registration Overview
  • Standard Brand: For clients sending greater than 3,000 SMS segments and MMS a day to the United States, or using 5 or more long code numbers These clients are registered via the process outlined in ISV Onboarding Guide, including complete US A2P Brand and Campaign Use Case registration.

Please see here for our ISV onboarding guide: ISV U.S. A2P 10DLC Onboarding Guide

We understand that onboarding to A2P 10DLC may be a significant effort if you are an ISV with a large number of clients. We recommend you start by registering your larger clients, then expand registration to your smaller clients.

See also: How do I register to use A2P 10DLC messaging?

What information is required for registration?

In order to register businesses, brands and use cases, you will need information about each business and brand. The required info includes the business name, physical address, business type (LLC, partnership, etc.).

For customers sending fewer than 3,000 SMS message segments and MMS a day to the United States, Twilio is working on a registration solution with lighter customer info requirements.

For a complete list of information needed to register, see How do I register to use A2P 10DLC messaging?

Once I have completed registration, how do I make sure my phone numbers use 10DLC?

Once your Brand(s) and Campaign(s) are approved, you will need to link each of your A2P Campaign Use Cases to a Messaging Service, and add phone numbers to that Messaging Service. Any numbers that you add to that Messaging Service will be automatically associated with the Campaign that you linked to that Messaging Service.

By default, newly-created Messaging Services are now set to "Defer to sender webhooks," meaning the Messaging Service will not override any existing inbound message handling you have configured on your Twilio numbers. If you are using an existing Messaging Service that you created weeks or months ago, make sure its inbound message handling settings are configured the way you want before adding any numbers. You can do this by browsing to that Service in the Twilio Console, or using the Messaging Services API.

Do I need to change the way I send outbound messages?

If you don’t currently use Messaging Services in your application to send outbound messages, that’s OK – you won’t need to make changes within your application. It is not required to modify your application to include the Messaging Service SID in your API requests. It is only necessary to add the phone numbers to a Messaging Service, in order to associate them with a Campaign.

What pricing and fees are associated with the A2P 10DLC service?

For an overview of registration costs and per-message carrier fees associated with A2P 10DLC, please see What pricing and fees are associated with the A2P 10DLC service?

How long does it take to get registered?

Registration can typically be completed in a few minutes if you've already collected all of the required information. For example, if you are registering a US-based business, you should ensure you have your Employer Identification Number (EIN) ready when you begin registration. However, in the event that there is a discrepancy with the information you provide, a manual review may be required for Secondary Vetting which can take up to 7 days. To avoid this please see A2P 10DLC Brand Approval Best Practices.

Is MMS messaging affected by A2P 10DLC?

Yes, MMS messaging via long code is subject to carrier fees as part of A2P 10DLC. We also expect registered MMS traffic to ultimately benefit from reduced carrier filtering. However, long code MMS messaging remains subject to throughput limits, due to limited carrier capacity. For high-volume MMS use cases in the United States, a short code is still the best option.

What message sending throughput (MPS) do I get?

Message throughput (MPS) will be allocated per registered Campaign Use Case. For many customers, A2P 10DLC will offer much higher throughput than the traditional 1 MPS for long code messaging, without the requirement of using additional numbers to get higher throughput.

For details, see Message throughput (MPS) and Trust Scores for A2P 10DLC in the US.

How do these rule changes affect short codes and Toll-Free numbers? Should I switch to 10DLC?

These changes do not directly affect short codes and Toll-Free numbers, except for officially prohibiting shared short codes for all use cases except authentication codes. Details below.

Shared short codes will be banned, date TBD

Dedicated short codes are still a great way to send high-volume A2P messaging in the United States. However, the use of shared short code numbers will be banned with the transition to A2P 10DLC. The only exception to this policy is shared short codes used to send 2-factor auth (2FA) or OTP codes only.

“Shared short codes” refers to short code numbers that are shared among multiple brands, for example Shoe Company A and Beverage Company B sending messages via the same short code number. If you have purchased a short code number from Twilio and are using it for your own business and brand only, you are not affected by this change.

Under the new policy, a short code may be shared across multiple companies only for the purposes of sending authentication code messages, for example "Your login code is 12345." Any other category of messaging is not allowed on a shared short code.

Customers who are sharing a short code among multiple clients or brands for any purpose other than sending 2-factor codes (also known as OTPs) should completely migrate away from shared short codes.

Previously, the end date for shared short codes was identified as June 1. As of July 1, the end date for shared short codes is on hold until the successful implementation of A2P 10DLC. A specific date will be shared here when we have information to share.

Toll-Free SMS – no changes

US Toll-Free phone numbers are not affected by these changes. Toll-Free SMS is still a great way to send A2P SMS in the United States as well as Canada. See Information and best practices for using Toll-Free SMS in the US and Canada for more information.

Is there an API for registering Business Profiles, US A2P Brands, and Campaign Use Cases?

Yes, for ISV-type customers who are invited to onboard their clients, Twilio is providing APIs for registering yourselves and your clients. You can view the documentation here: ISV A2P 10DLC Registration: API Step-by-Step walkthrough.

Regardless of how you plan to register, we encourage you to go ahead and collect all the required information. See How do I register to use A2P 10DLC messaging? for a list.

Is Verizon making any changes to their existing A2P 10DLC service?

Verizon launched their A2P 10DLC service in January 2019. At this time, Verizon has not announced any plans to adopt these new Brand and Campaign registration requirements. If this ever occurs, Twilio will notify our customers in advance.

For now, Verizon’s A2P 10DLC service continues operating without changes. See the Verizon A2P 10DLC FAQ for details.

What about other mobile networks in the US?

Please note that the T-Mobile network includes Sprint and MetroPCS, as those networks were acquired by T-Mobile previously. All information above related to T-Mobile also applies to these networks.

US Cellular (the 4th largest mobile carrier in the US) has not announced specific A2P 10DLC plans as of August 2021.

Read on for details about other types of mobile networks.

Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)

Many smaller branded mobile providers in the US are actually Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), who utilize one or more of the major mobile networks for their service. A list of US MVNOs is available on Wikipedia. Any numbers on an MVNO who primarily utilizes AT&T's network will also be affected by these changes.

If you perform a Twilio Lookup on a mobile number operated by an MVNO, it will display the name of the primary host network (for example, AT&T or Verizon).

Other independent mobile networks

Small independent mobile networks in the US are a small percentage of the mobile market, and are not affected by upcoming A2P 10DLC changes. A list of mobile networks in the US who own and operate their own network infrastructure is available on Wikipedia for reference.

Is messaging to Canada or any other countries also affected by these changes?

No. Canadian mobile carriers may introduce registered A2P 10DLC solutions in the future, but at this time carriers have not announced any plans to do so.

For information about message sending in countries other than the US, we recommend checking out our country-specific SMS Guidelines pages to learn about any unique rules or restrictions in that country.

Is WhatsApp messaging affected by A2P 10DLC?

No. WhatsApp messaging is unaffected by any of these changes. WhatsApp messages are transmitted over the Internet, rather than through carrier networks like SMS and MMS.

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