What's the difference between A2P and P2P SMS?

A2P and P2P are different processes for messaging. Which approach makes sense for a given use case depends upon the type and volume of traffic that is being sent.

A2P (application to person): An application acts as the sender. The application can send a large volume of messages in a given time frame. Use cases include bulk messaging, broadcasting, and alert systems.

P2P (person to person): A person acts as the sender. People are able to send only a small volume of messages in a given time frame. The traffic profile should resemble human behavior — 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

The US and Canada regulate both P2P and A2P messaging. US and Canada long codes should be used only for two-way P2P messaging. Most carriers and mobile operators have spam filters to identify and potentially filter out A2P traffic that originates from long codes.

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

International destinations

Plivo works with most major international telecom operators directly or through partner direct connections that are sanctioned for A2P traffic. However, some countries may impose restrictions on message content, volume, and frequency. Reach out to your account executive to learn more about country-specific restrictions that may apply to your SMS traffic.

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