What is the difference between A2P and P2P SMS?

A2P and P2P are two different categories of messages determined by the type and volume of traffic that is being sent.

A2P (Application to Person): an application acts as the sender. A large volume of messages is sent per second. Bulk messaging, broadcasting, A2P usage, alert systems are good analogues for this type of messaging.

P2P (Person to Person): a person acts as the sender. This type of messaging allows someone to send a small volume of messages. The traffic profile should resemble typical human behavior, i.e. it should be conversational (two-way) and at a frequency of no more than one message per second per number. 

P2P and A2P messaging in the US and Canada

There are many regulations around P2P and A2P traffic in the US and Canada.

US and Canada long codes should only be used for two-way P2P messaging. Spam filters are implemented by most carriers and mobile operators in the US and Canada to identify A2P traffic originating from long codes. This type of traffic is being filtered out more than ever.

A2P messages in the US and Canada should be sent via shortcodes and toll-free numbers only. Plivo offers shortcodes as well as SMS-enabled toll-free numbers for enterprise communication. Contact us with your specific needs for more information.

To learn more about toll-free SMS, check out this guide on our blog: https://www.plivo.com/blog/introducing-us-toll-free-sms/

International destinations

Plivo works with most major international telecom operators directly or through partner direct connections. These connections are specifically sanctioned for A2P traffic. However, restrictions on message content, volume, and frequency can vary from country to country. Reach out to us with your specific use case to learn more about country-specific restrictions that may apply to your SMS traffic.

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