What are the differences between long codes and short codes?

Long codes can send five messages per second. Short codes let your application send SMS messages at 50 messages per second.

Short codes are best suited for applications that send SMS messages to lots of users, or that send many time-sensitive messages — for example for marketing communications, large-volume messaging, and one-way notifications to users. Depending on the type of application you build and the messages you're sending, a short code may be the only type of number that can support your use case.

Short codes are not location-specific and can be used nationwide. A short code can send messages only from same-country phone numbers on operator networks that have approved the short code, as they're provisioned on a country-by-country basis.

Plivo provides short codes only for the US and Canada. For international destinations, you must use regular phone numbers.


Long codes

Short codes

What is it?

A unique 10-digit phone number that’s tied to an area code — for example, 415-484-7489

A five- to six-digit number that can be used nationwide — for example, PLIVO (75486)

When do I need it?

P2P communication: when a person interacts with another person

A2P communication: when an application interacts with a person

What applications can I build around it?

Group messaging, agent-to-person applications, peer-to-peer applications

Marketing campaigns, alerts, confirmations, two-factor authentication

How fast can I send my SMS?

5 SMS per second. Carrier regulations don't allow long codes to be used for SMS broadcasting.

Default base rate is 50 SMS per second. To increase this rate, contact Sales.

Are there limitations on my SMS traffic pattern?

Carrier regulations require that the ratio of inbound to outbound SMS traffic be better than 1:3.

This means you may not send more than 200 SMS messages per day per long code number.

No limitations

How much does it cost?

Check out our SMS rates on our pricing page.

Check out our short code page for pricing details.


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