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SMS Long Codes for Operations

As we continue to share the differences between the uses of SMS Short Codes and Long Codes, today we’ll focus on using SMS Long Codes for operational text messages.  If your business is interested in using SMS for operational efficiency, then you’ll want to understand the logistics of SMS and the difference between sending messages on a short code verses a long code.

What is a Long Code?

A long code is a 10-digit phone number, just like your home or cell phone number.  They are designated for P2P (Person to Person) Communications by the wireless carriers. You can read more about Long Codes here.


What is a Long Code Used For?

SMS gateway providers such as 3Seventy have created deals or arrangements with the major mobile carriers to send and receive SMS messages over long codes and short codes. The relationship between the SMS gateway provider and the carriers allows for the transmission and reception of a large number of SMS messages to and from a long code, however it moves much slower than a short code (1 message per second vs. 40 message per second)

Knowing this information, the best uses of long codes are for internal and operational SMS. If a business chooses to use it, then SMS can be quickly become an integrated part of their existing platforms. Great uses of SMS long codes include:

  • Employee Communication
  • Customer Service
  • International Communications from the US
  • Triggered Alerts (such as disasters and important events)
  • One-Time Updates and Notifications
  • Highly-localized small business marketing


Why Should You use Long Codes for Operations SMS?

SMS Regulation

Long codes are not regulated by MMA and the CTIA (The Wireless Association), so they are often associated with spam messages. So if you are concerned about managing a positive brand reputation, then SMS marketing messages in the US are best delivered via short codes. However, operational messages or those for highly localized communities.


Speed of Message Delivery

Short codes win the speed race (sending 40 messages per second compared to 1 message per second). However, those businesses with a small database or only sending one-to-one messages should be perfectly comfortable using long codes.


Affordability and Availability

Long codes are much more affordable than short codes – largely because of the lack of regulations  – and they are readily available for setup.  Short Codes can be quick to get on if it is a shared short code, but dedicated short codes can take 4-6 weeks to get setup and approved. Long Codes are a more familiar medium for the customers than short codes.


long codes, short code

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