U.S. SMS 10-digit Long Code Message Rate and Number Provisioning Limits (Sept-Nov 2020)

Note: This policy was updated September 28, 2020, to establish October 2 as the start date for this policy, as well as defining October 2 as the cut-off date for receiving a 4,000 MPS limit for long code SMS to the United States.

Twilio anticipates significant spikes in both 10-digit long code SMS messages sent to the U.S., and provisioning of U.S.-based phone numbers as we approach the U.S. election in November 2020. Due to the finite capacity of the U.S. messaging ecosystem, we’re implementing a Heightened Awareness Period (HAP) from October 2, 2020 until November 4, 2020. Our goal for this short-term policy is to ensure that all customers have fair access to a secure and reliable network.

During this Heightened Awareness Period, the following limitations will apply:

  • A maximum of 1,000,000 additional 10-digit long code phone numbers can be added to your project within the +1 country code. There are no area code limitations. These numbers are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with inventory being added regularly.
  • Account-level long code SMS rate limits have been implemented based on the amount of phone numbers:
    • Customers with 2,000 or more 10-digit long code numbers on their project can send up to 2,000 MPS toward the United States.
    • Customers with 100,000 or more 10-digit long code numbers on their project as of October 2, 2020 can send up to 4,000 MPS toward the United States. Twilio reserves the right to move the effective date of October 2, 2020 to an earlier date if too much capacity is allocated to customers, putting the network at risk. 

Notice: Unlike Twilio’s per-number rate limits, these account-wide MPS limits are based on entire messages, and not the standard measurement of message segments. In other words, these account-wide long code SMS limits toward the U.S. will not change if you send longer messages. That said, please keep in mind that standard throughput for a U.S. 10-digit long code phone number will still remain at 1 message segment per second. For more details on Twilio’s standard sending rate limits and queue behavior, see Understanding Twilio Rate Limits and Message Queues.

Table of new MPS limits

# of 10-digit long code phone numbers in +1 country code

Account rate limit toward U.S.

<2,000

Standard - 1 Message Segment per Second per phone number

2,000 - 99,999

2,000 MPS

>=100,000 (as of Oct 2, 2020)

4,000 MPS

Does this affect MMS as well?

No, this Heightened Awareness Period only impacts U.S. long code SMS. The throughput for U.S. long code MMS will still remain at an account-wide rate limit of 25 MPS. For more information, see Twilio Multimedia Messaging (MMS) Account Rate Limits.

What do you need to do?

There is no action required of you; however, we are here to help our customers optimize operations during this Heightened Awareness Period. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your Twilio point of contact.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Does this policy affect numbers or MPS for countries outside the United States?

Canada long code numbers are also included in the 1,000,000 additional number limit. This is because Canada long codes share the +1 country code, and can send messages to users in the U.S.

However, message sending rate (MPS) toward Canada is not affected by this policy. The MPS limitations described above only apply to messages from long code numbers to recipients in the United States.

Long code Twilio numbers from outside the +1 country code are not able to send messages to the +1 region, due to a lack of support by carriers.

Q: Are these Twilio capacity limits or broader ecosystem limits?

Twilio has plenty of capacity for requests from our customers to Twilio, and messages coming into Twilio from end users. These messaging limits during this Heightened Awareness Period are based on the finite downstream capacity of the carrier ecosystem. This helps ensure that all businesses as well as end users have fair and uninterrupted access to messaging during this period of high utilization.

Q: Is this policy set at the account or subaccount level?

This is set at the account level (parent account). If you have subaccounts, they share the account-level limit.

Q: If I buy 1,000,000 numbers in the +1 country code during this period, and then release some of the numbers, can I then purchase more numbers up to the 1,000,000 total?

No. The 1,000,000 additional phone number cap for the +1 country code is the total that you are permitted to purchase during the Heightened Awareness Period. Releasing numbers does not replenish this quota.

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