Are you ready for the future of 10DLC messaging? New U.S. regulations and requirements are affecting 10DLC text messaging campaigns, and compliance with these protocols and restrictions are critical to the ongoing success of businesses that depend on 10DLC texting and SMS marketing to stay in touch with customers. Here's what you need to know about the latest requirements for using 10DLC.

10DLC Compliance Updates

As part of establishing an industry standard to protect consumers from unwanted messages (specifically high-volume online messaging or SMS traffic), the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) has collaborated with major wireless service providers to adopt "Messaging Principles and Best Practices."

As a result, the industry has created a distinction in the handling of "consumer" Person to Person (P2P) and "Non-Consumer" Application to Person (A2P) messages for organizations using a local area code (10 Digit Long Code or 10DLC) for messaging, whether the purpose is business texting or SMS marketing. 

Any business line with a 10DLC may now be considered a carrier-sanctioned messaging channel and subject to A2P regulations. As of October 1, 2021, carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile began directly throttling unregistered SMS traffic and announced their intent to impose fines on companies that do not comply with the new rules.

What Are the Requirements to Use 10DLC?

To continue using 10DLC, registration must be completed. The brand, Campaign Service Provider (CSP), 10DLC, and individual campaigns must be registered. There are several factors that affect the tier of registration required and the amount of traffic allowed:

How many messages are sent per day: this is typically one of two categories:

  • More than 3,000 messages per day
  • Less than 3,000 messages per day

Direct customers vs. Independent Software Vendors (ISV)

  • Direct customers send messages on behalf of themselves
  • ISVs may send messages on behalf of their own customers

Standard campaign use vs. special campaigns

  • Standard campaigns cover most normal B2C and B2B use
  • Special campaigns include charities and political organizations

If brands don't register, their traffic is considered unregistered and is subject to throttling, filtering and/or fines by carriers. Fees for noncompliance or code of conduct violations can range up to $10,000.

How Do You Register to Use A2P 10DLC Messaging?

Registration is normally done through your CSP. If you are a Swift SMS Gateway customer, we take care of all of the details including registering with The Campaign Registry (TCR). As your SMS vendor, we will register your Brand and Campaign for 10DLC A2P traffic and assist you in the proper submission of information.

Fees Associated with the A2P 10DLC Service

The following costs are pass through fees in addition to your current SMS pricing:

Brand Registration

  • $40US one-time Brand vetting fee for volumes higher than 15,000+ per month

Campaign Registration

  • $10 USD monthly (more than 15,000+ per month)
  • $50 USD T-mobile one-time (Oct 1, 2021 onwards)

The Implications of U.S. Regulations and Registration Requirements

A2P 10DLC is changing the system for short and long code use. As shared, short code messaging is phased out and wireless carriers band together for the purpose of setting SMS best practices, and businesses using a DLC number for SMS marketing will be required to fall in line.

Major carriers that are supporting A2P for 10DLC include T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T. Each company has their own guidelines and fees, but the overarching theme is that there is simply too much abuse of text messaging and consumers need to be protected.

As brands and campaigns are registered and trust levels assigned, consumers will receive fewer spam texts and can have more confidence in the texts that they are receiving. For brands, the fees associated with compliance are low enough not to cause an undue burden, and the fines for non-compliance or breaking the rules are steep enough to encourage most organizations to see compliance as the far better option. 

The fact that brands can turn to their CSPs to help guide them through registration or use an API to connect makes compliance easier. Swift SMS Gateway is committed to streamlining this process for all customers who need to continue using 10DLC or switch to 10DLC from short code use.

The Future of 10DLC Messaging

It all comes down to trust and use case for SMS marketing and business texting. When brands register with TCR, their trustworthiness and proposed use cases will be vetted. TCR uses a reputation algorithm to assign your business a Trust Score ranging from 1 to 100. This Trust Score is a representation of how trusted your business is.

Your Trust Score level (Low, Medium or High) is combined with your Campaign Type. This results in a determination that dictates what message throughput is allotted to your Campaign. Currently, SMS message sending throughput is measured in Message Segments per Second (MPS), and longer messages are composed of multiple segments (which can be assembled into one long message at the recipient end).

There is no exception for obtaining a Trust Score; this is a mandatory step on all industry-wide A2P 10DLC registrations, but there is an appeal allowed. If you are not satisfied with the assigned Trust Score, you can appeal TCR's decision by submitting a request for additional review and paying a one-time fee of $40 USD.

There is no guarantee that your Trust Score will increase as a result of the additional review, and if you can't increase your Trust Score you will have to become creative with your campaigns and ensure that you make every message count for maximized results.

If you are still using short codes, now is the time to shift to 10DLC. Using a DLC number instead of a shared short code can help minimize the risk of your SMS traffic being filtered out or throttled. Registration of your brand and creating compliant campaigns can help future proof your business interests as texting regulation continues to evolve.

To learn more about text messaging, contact us for a demo today.