What is A2P 10DLC?

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.

A2P 10DLC will launch on AT&T beginning March 1, 2021. Along with this launch are new fees on all long code messages to AT&T, and new registration requirements for businesses who intend to send long code messages to AT&T in the US. Registration must be completed by June 1, 2021 to avoid additional filtering.

T-Mobile is also expected to announce details of their A2P 10DLC rollout in the near future.  At this stage, we can confirm that T-Mobile's A2P 10DLC system will rely on the same registration system described below. We will be sharing finalized details around T-Mobile's transition to A2P 10DLC shortly, and updating this FAQ.

Verizon previously launched their own A2P 10DLC solution in early 2019 and is not impacted by these new changes.

What do I need to do?

If you do not send messages to users in the United States, you do not need to do anything. If you are a business sending messages in the US, read on.

Starting March 1, register your company as a Primary Business Profile in Twilio’s Trust Hub. Then, register your Brand(s) and Campaigns. This will be available via the Twilio Console, and via API shortly after. See How do I register to use A2P 10DLC messaging? for details.

If you are a hobbyist, independent developer or very small business, you may not need to register. We will communicate updates as we have them.

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

AT&T expects businesses to register their Brands and Campaigns for A2P 10DLC messaging in the US starting March 1, and no later than June 1, 2021.

If you are a very small business or a hobby project, you might not need to register. See below for guidelines.

Dates and deadlines for business registration

March 1, 2021:

Registration opens: you will be able to use the Twilio Console to register your Business Profile, Brands and Campaigns for A2P messaging. AT&T carrier fees begin applying to messages sent to numbers on AT&T's network. Twilio will partially discount these fees until May 1 (June 1 for ISV type customers) to allow customers time to register (see What fees are associated with the A2P 10DLC service? below).

An API for A2P registration will also launch in early March – stay tuned for updates.

May 1, 2021:

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.

June 1, 2021:

Registration deadline for AT&T. At this point, AT&T will increase filtering (blocking) of non-registered 10-digit long code traffic sent to users on their network.

We strongly recommend that businesses complete registration as soon as possible after it opens on March 1.

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

If you are a hobbyist, independent developer, or a very small business, you do not need to complete any registration at this time. If any specific thresholds or new requirements arise, Twilio will share information with you via email and update this FAQ.

What happens if I don't register?

Registered traffic to AT&T will benefit from lower fees. After May 1, the per-message carrier fees for unregistered traffic will increase slightly (see the fee table below). After June 1, AT&T will increase message filtering on non-registered traffic, to better protect mobile subscribers from unwanted messaging.

T-Mobile (including Sprint) will require registration under this new system as well. Details are still forthcoming and we will update this article when we have more to share. However, you should plan to register to take advantage of better rates and reduced filtering to these networks as well.

We do not expect the increased message filtering to be a problem for independent developers and small businesses sending small volumes of message traffic. Twilio and carriers are committed to ensuring this type of traffic remains possible. However, the increased filtering will have a negative impact on delivery of messages for larger business use cases sending higher volumes.

We expect that some of you may wonder whether they would be considered a hobbyist or a small business, based on your current message volume to the US. As of today, we don't have specific thresholds from carriers to determine this. Please stay tuned as we will update this information as soon as more specific guidance is available.

How does Brand registration work? 

When you complete your A2P Profile (Brand Registration), The Campaign Registry will give your Brand a Trust Score of either Low, Medium, or High Trust. This rating influences the maximum message throughput that will be allocated to each of your Campaigns (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. TCR uses a reputation algorithm to review specific criteria relating to your company, and assign a “Trust Score” that will determine your messaging throughput.

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. As of March 1, throughput limits will not be enforced on Twilio, but we expect to support it in the near future. We will communicate any changes via this FAQ.

What’s a Campaign?

A Campaign represents a use case. Some companies may only need one Campaign, in other cases 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 Campaigns.

When I register my Campaign, I have to select a Use Case. What do these 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

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 to facilitate registration for our customers. This offers you other benefits of Twilio’s Trust Hub.

Completing brand and campaign registration outside of Twilio, and using those registrations through Twilio, is not supported.

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 Brands and Campaigns. Twilio is currently 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.

Your clients will each be registered as a Secondary Business Profile via Trust Hub. Their respective Brands and Campaigns will be registered through the same A2P Messaging process.

Twilio will provide further updates to our ISV customers, including draft documentation for registration APIs that are slated to go live in early March.

We understand that onboarding to A2P 10DLC may be a significant effort if you are an ISV with a large number of clients. Once registration goes live, we recommend you start by registering your clients’ Brands and Campaigns with the highest message volume, and work your way down to smaller clients over time.

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

What information is required for registration?

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

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

Once I have registered my Brand and Campaign, 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 Campaigns 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.

If you make this change today in advance of the changes, please ensure that your inbound message configuration (e.g. the webhook for your application) is applied on your Messaging Service. The inbound configuration settings of a Messaging Service currently takes precedence over the existing inbound settings on those numbers. Twilio plans to offer an optional setting to change this behavior to ease the transition, and will update this article with the details.

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 fees are associated with the A2P 10DLC service?

There are new fees for both message sending and campaign registration for the new service.

Brand registration fee: $4 one-time registration fee per Brand.

Campaign registration fees:

Campaign Type Cost
Regular Campaign $10/month
Low-volume* Mixed-use Campaign $2/month
Charity Campaigns $5/month

* The threshold for "low volume" has not yet been defined by carriers. This article will be updated when that information is available.

Message fees: 

These fees are added as carrier fees in addition to Twilio’s SMS pricing.

To give customers time to register, Twilio will charge reduced AT&T carrier fees for unregistered traffic from March 1 until May 1, 2021.

AT&T carrier fees for unregistered traffic (March 1 - April 30, 2021):

$0.003/segment for outbound SMS to AT&T

$0.0035/message for outbound MMS to AT&T

For registered traffic after March 1, and all traffic after May 1, 2021, AT&T's fee schedule applies. The cost of unregistered SMS to AT&T increases. For ISV-type customers only, Twilio will continue offsetting this cost (reduced to $0.003 instead of the AT&T fee of $0.004) until June 1 to give additional time to register. 

AT&T’s fees vary based on registration status and Campaign type.

Fees effective for messages to AT&T starting May 1:

Campaign type

AT&T long code SMS carrier fee

AT&T long code MMS carrier fee

Use cases within campaign type

Declared Use Case

$0.002

$0.0035

Single use case covering 2FA, authentication, customer care, group messaging, notifications, operations, etc.

Mixed / Marketing Use Case

$0.003

$0.0035

Marketing use case or combination of use cases under one campaign.

Basic / Unregistered

$0.004

$0.005

High risk provider or unregistered traffic

Special (select use cases only)

$0.000

$0.000

Charity, emergency services, public safety

Political

$0.002

$0.0035

Political use cases

For details about Campaign types, see List of Campaign Types and Use Case Types for A2P 10DLC registration.

Verizon Wireless – Fees introduced January 2019 (no changes):
$0.0025 per outbound SMS message segment
$0.005 per outbound MMS message

How long does it take to get registered?

When you initially submit your Business Profile in the Twilio Trust Hub, it will be reviewed within 72 hours. This review is completed by Twilio. As a reminder, you can do this initial step immediately, in advance of A2P registration opening up on March 1.

After A2P registration opens on March 1, we expect that Brand and Campaign registrations by an approved Business Profile will typically be approved within 1 hour.

Is MMS messaging affected by A2P 10DLC?

Yes. However, for high-volume MMS use cases in the United States, a short code is still the best option. Long code MMS messaging remains subject to throughput limits, due to limited carrier capacity (see below).

What message sending throughput (MPS) do I get?

Message throughput will eventually be allocated per Campaign and will differ between SMS and MMS. However, at the initial launch on March 1, MPS for SMS will remain unchanged at 1 MPS (message segment per second) per long code phone number sending to the +1 region. Long code MMS will remain the same, with an account-level limit of 25 MPS for long code MMS.

Twilio will keep our customers informed via email and update this FAQ in advance of any changes.

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. Details below.

Shared short codes banned, effective June 1, 2021

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 is being formally banned by AT&T effective June 1. “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. 

Customers who are sharing a short code among multiple clients or brands should completely migrate away from using shared short codes by June 1, 2021.

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, Brands, and Campaigns?

Currently, the registration process is manual through the Twilio Console. 

For customers (especially ISVs) who want to utilize APIs for Secondary Business Profile, Brand, and Campaign registration, we will have APIs and documentation available the first week of March. At that time, we will have additional information to share.

If you plan to use the API 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?

T-Mobile is using the same registration system as AT&T. We will be sharing finalized details around T-Mobile's transition to A2P 10DLC in the near future, and updating this FAQ with complete details.

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