What is changing about AT&T’s long code SMS
North American carriers like AT&T are moving away from unsanctioned long codes and are launching 10DLC as a sanctioned A2P messaging service. Starting February 1st 2021, Plivo will be moving all existing and new long code SMS terminating with AT&T to their new 10-digit long code (10DLC) A2P service.
In order to create this sanctioned channel, AT&T is requiring every business to register so that they are aware of who is sending messages and what messaging is being sent, and can continue protecting end users from spam and unwanted messages. For this new commercial long code service, AT&T has communicated a surcharge for every outgoing SMS message segment. These termination fees have not been confirmed and will likely vary based on each campaign’s throughput. Throughput will be based on the “trust score” AT&T assigns a brand after doing a thorough risk assessment, as well as the campaign-type, which is defined by use-case. Registration of your campaigns can be done directly, via Plivo. Non-registered campaigns are subject to being blocked by AT&T starting February 1, 2020.
We will pass through these surcharge fees to you at no markup. To ensure transparency, this fee will appear as a separate line item on your monthly invoices.
What is A2P 10DLC from AT&T?
This refers to AT&T’s new "10-digit long code (10DLC)" service. The term "10-digit long code" (10DLC) refers to standard US local phone numbers which are 10 digits long, including the area code.
Similar to Verizon 10DLC which started in January 2020, this solution by AT&T explicitly allows Application-to-Peer (A2P) SMS traffic over long code phone numbers throughout the AT&T network in the US.
Unlike the former long code product, this new service has been designed specifically for commercial long code messaging.
We believe this service will offer our customers the best possible stability and deliverability available on long codes, offering a much more personalized experience for their end-users.
What are long codes?
Long codes are standard, ten-digital phone numbers. Unlike short codes, these numbers can also be used to make and receive calls.
Do I need to register if I’m using Toll-free numbers or short codes?
At this time, campaign registration is only required if your business is leveraging long codes to send messages to your customers. No further action is needed if you are using Toll-free numbers or short codes, and you will be able to send messages per normal.
How do I register my brand?
You will be able to register your brand – which is the business you are creating the campaign for – directly through the Plivo website. Once your brand has been approved by AT&T, it will be marked as such in the Plivo console. Non-registered campaigns are subject to being blocked by AT&T starting February 1, 2021.
Once your brand has been vetted and approved by AT&T, you will then be able to start submitting A2P campaigns for approval via the Plivo console. You must indicate the use-case, as this will determine campaign approval and throughput.
Details needed during the time of registration include:
- Your company’s legal name
- Your company’s country of registration
- The type of your organization (private, publicly traded, nonprofit)
- Your company’s Tax Number/ID/EIN
- Your business’ website
- Campaign name
- Campaign description
- Campaign use-case
- Campaign sample messages
What are the rate limits and throughput on AT&T’s 10DLC A2P service?
TPM (throughput per minute) and rate limits are not fixed for every campaign, and will vary depending on the “trust score” AT&T assigns to a business after doing a thorough risk assessment. However, AT&T has disclosed some generic numbers related to TPM by common use-cases, as well as the associated costs. It is important to note that the actual number will vary by brand and in accordance with their risk assessment.
What if the throughput provided by AT&T is not sufficient enough for my volume? Can I increase my throughput?
If your required throughput is higher than the allocated throughout, Plivo, in association with AT&T, can help acquire a higher message throughput. If a business wants to appeal for a higher throughput, they can do one of two things:
- Vet their brand with a third-party company that has been approved by AT&T. The cost of this is a one-time fee of $40. Starting January 15th, there will be a section in the Plivo Console underneath “Messaging Overview” where you can apply to be vetted. The adjusted throughput amount will also be reflected in this section. Please note that the vetting process doesn’t guarantee a set number for throughput. It is up to the third party’s discretion on the rate limits they will assign to a business following the vetting process.
- Register for additional campaigns to meet the required throughput for your messages. You can register for additional campaigns by contacting the Plivo Support Team. Please note that all campaigns will be subject to the standard per campaign fee per month, which can range anywhere from $6-$10 USD per month.
Please note that the maximum TPM a brand can receive from AT&T is 1800.
If you have any questions regarding your allocated throughput, please reach out directly to email@example.com.
Who does the vetting for higher throughput?
AT&T is leveraging 3rd party vetting partners, such as Aegis Mobile, Campaign Verify, and WMC Global to further verify your brand. AT&T relies on these organizations to ensure your messages are being delivered, while also preventing unwanted messages from harming wireless subscribers.
What are the fees associated with AT&T’s 10DLC service?
SMS providers will pay a one-time setup fee and an ongoing monthly recurring fee for every campaign registered. A summary of expected fees are below:
- Standard cost per message as reflected on Plivo Pricing Page
- One-time setup fee: one-time $4 fee for initial brand registration
- Monthly recurring fee: $6-$10 fee per month per campaign; varies by volume of the campaign
- Carrier surcharge fee: There will be a termination charge associated with every message terminating to AT&T. These surcharges have not been released, but pass-through fees are expected to be charged starting February 1, 2021. We will update this FAQ once AT&T has shared a thorough fee structure.
- Optional one-time vetting fee for higher throughput: $40
Can multiple phone numbers be associated with a campaign?
There are no restrictions on the number of phone numbers that can be registered against a single campaign, and businesses can map as many phone numbers as they want for a campaign. You will be able to automatically start mapping phone numbers to its corresponding campaigns in the Plivo Console starting February 1st.
What if I want to register more than one campaign during the initial brand registration?
Upon registering your brand, Plivo will automatically register your campaign as a “mixed campaign.” This means that most use-cases are available for use under that campaign ID. If your use-case doesn’t fall into the one of the “mixed campaign” use-cases, then you can register for additional campaigns by reaching out to our dedicated team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m a reseller. What’s the easiest way for me to register all of my customers?
AT&T recommends that you register your business using your personal EIN details. Upon registering, you will be assigned a Campaign ID, from which you can map as many phone numbers as you need for your end-customers.
If you are a reseller, you will more than likely need to vet your brand for a higher throughput to account for all your end-customers’ business needs. Following the vetting process, if the assigned throughput still isn’t enough to suffice, we recommend that you register for additional campaigns, until the allocated throughput across the span of all campaigns is considered sufficient enough for all of your end-customers.
If there is a requirement from your end-customers to have designated phone numbers mapped to their account, and not have any shared numbers with other businesses in your customer portfolio, we also recommend registering multiple campaigns, and assigning a Campaign ID to the corresponding customer.
You can register multiple campaigns by reaching out directly to our dedicated team at email@example.com. The number of campaigns, corresponding Campaign IDs, and throughput allocated to each campaign will be reflected in the Plivo Console. You will also be able to map the correct phone numbers to the corresponding Campaign IDs from within the Plivo Console starting February 1st.
Do I have to use AT&T’s 10DLC service?
Yes. All long code messaging to AT&T will be required to utilize this new service. Non-registered campaigns are subject to being blocked by AT&T starting February 1, 2020.
What exactly will change when AT&T’s 10DLC service goes live? Does 10DLC still have carrier filtering?
You should expect to see the improved delivery quality of SMS to the AT&T mobile network. The new AT&T 10DLC service does have filtering, and it is designed to target spam, unsolicited and abusive traffic.
What are the benefits of sending traffic through AT&T’s 10DLC Service?
There are a number of benefits to AT&T’s 10DLC Service:
- Higher Messaging Volume: Historically, long codes were only able to send at a rate of 1 message per second and only support sending of a few hundred messages per day- only making it applicable for 1:1, transactional messaging and phone calls. With this new 10DLC route, long codes are intended to support a medium to high volume rate of send that is between that of toll free numbers and short codes, and carriers have indicated that 10DLCs should be capable of sending around 100,000 text messages per month.
- Lower Costs than Short Codes: 10DLC numbers have lower monthly costs than dedicated short codes, and cost about the same as a local long code phone number. So, businesses that can’t afford a short code number or don’t send enough messages to justify paying for a short code have a cost-efficient alternative.
- Better Deliverability: Because 10DLC numbers are sanctioned by the carriers, and the pre-existing firewalls have been lifted, messages sent on these numbers are more likely going to reach the recipient than with regular local long codes.
What do I need to do to prepare for this change on AT&T’s 10-digit long codes?
AT&T requires a verification process for all brands. You will be able to register your brand -- which is the business you are creating the campaign for -- directly through Plivo. Once your brand has been approved by AT&T, it will be marked as such in the Plivo console. You will then be able to start submitting A2P campaigns via the Plivo console, and indicate the use-case.
Additionally, there will be no change to your Plivo account or services. As soon as AT&T enables these surcharges, we will pass through this fee at no additional upcharge. To ensure transparency, this fee will appear as a separate line item on invoices.
How do I ensure that traffic sent to AT&T customers is through a registered phone number?
Managing traffic to be sent to and from specific phone numbers is a hard thing to manage at scale -- you would have to either do it manually, or build very complex logic into your system. That’s why Plivo recommends Powerpack, which will automatically route traffic to AT&T destination numbers through a registered AT&T phone number on your behalf. Learn more about configuring a Powerpack here.
What about other mobile networks? Are they also enabling a 10DLC A2P service?
Verizon has already implemented a surcharge on 10-digit long codes as of January 2020, and it has also announced that it is going to start charging an additional surcharge fee of $0.0025 for every outgoing SMS message segment on toll-free phone numbers, as of September 1st 2020.
We believe that toll-free numbers on AT&T will follow suit, and that similar fees will be added for terminating long code and toll-free traffic on other carrier networks in the coming months (T-Mobile/Sprint).
Will this change to AT&T’s 10-digit long codes affect my Plivo phone numbers?
No, this new service does not cause any changes to your Plivo phone numbers. This change only will only affect the cost and delivery quality for long code SMS to the AT&T network.
What if I have additional questions about AT&T 10DLC?
We value your continued business with Plivo. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Account Executive or our Support Team.