This guide explains the capabilities and key differences long code, short code, and toll-free phone numbers in the US and Canada:
Notice: There are major upcoming changes to long code SMS in the United States due to carriers' new A2P 10DLC systems. For full details, see What is A2P 10DLC.
|Long code*||Toll-free||Short code|
|Coverage||Can send SMS to any country.||Can send SMS to any country.||Can send SMS within their own country only.†|
|Voice call capable||Yes||Yes||No|
|SMS filtering profile||Application-to-Person (A2P) traffic is subject to carrier filtering.‡||Reduced carrier filtering to the United States, as well as the Canadian networks Rogers, Fido, Telus and Videotron.§||No carrier filtering, as long as you comply with the use case submitted in your short code application.|
|SMS throughput||1 SMS segment per second, can't be increased.||3 SMS segments per second by default, but can be increased. Contact Sales for more information.||100 SMS per second by default, but can be increased. Contact Sales for more information.|
|MMS capable||Yes||Yes||Capable of MMS with a one-time enablement fee (US only)|
* In the United States, 10-digit long code application-to-person messaging (A2P 10DLC) will soon require business registration and be subject to additional carrier fees. For full details, see What is A2P 10DLC.
† To send short code SMS messages in both the US and Canada, you would need two different short codes; one in each country.
‡ Verizon Wireless has reduced filtering on A2P messages to their subscribers - see Commercial Long Code SMS & MMS Product and Fee Structure Changes on Verizon. Other US carriers have registration requirements. For full details, see What is A2P 10DLC.
§ Standard long code filtering profile to messages sent to other Canada mobile networks, and other non-US locations. Some use cases not allowed - see Forbidden message categories for SMS and MMS in the US and Canada.
For more details on the different types of numbers and their capabilities, please see the following resources: