10DLC Overview and FAQ

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Emily Champion

Updated


T-Mobile update: Per-message surcharges went into effect on April 1, 2021. However, the April 1 date for the special business review and campaign activation fees has been postponed. T-Mobile will provide a 30-day notice ahead of the new date.

AT&T update: To address specific use cases and allow time for additional campaign registration, AT&T has extended the registration grace period until further notice.

10DLC pass-through fees went into effect on March 1, 2021. However, AT&T is temporarily offering discounted SMS and MMS rates during the registration grace period. Beginning March 1, the following discounted rates continue to apply:

  • SMS will be flat rated for all classes at $0.002 per message sent
  • MMS will be flat rated for all classes at $0.0035 per message sent

AT&T will provide at least a 30-day notice of any changes to these discounted rates. Unregistered traffic will continue to be subject to P2P spam policies and traffic throughput restrictions, as well as the above discounted rates.

As of July 1, both AT&T and T-Mobile will begin charging surcharges for toll-free traffic. We've posted them in our carrier surcharges article, so that you can begin calculating the impact it will have on you. 


This overview and FAQ represents Bandwidth's most current understanding of mobile carrier plans to introduce additional requirements and fees for sending messages using local phone numbers intended for their respective mobile carrier subscribers. Many of these details are still being finalized, but we'll continue to update this article as we learn more or as mobile carrier requirements change.

What's happening?

Certain mobile carriers are now adjusting the throughput caps they've historically enforced on local messaging for business senders, also known as A2P programs, while imposing new registration requirements and paying additional fees. The throughput limits will vary, but wanted messages in registered campaigns should receive better throughput than the traditional 1 message per second (MPS).

Note: Not registering A2P campaigns with The Campaign Registry doesn't bypass the mobile carriers’ additional per-message fees. 

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What do I need to know?

Verizon launched their 10DLC program in February 2020 without a pre-registration requirement for A2P senders. Verizon’s A2P program supports additional throughput to Verizon subscribers on all local phone numbers but also includes increased per-message A2P fees. Meanwhile, AT&T and T-Mobile have created plans of their own, which have new and different requirements for local number message senders.

As AT&T and T-Mobile release more information, we'll provide updates on these requirements, including the key differences between the various rules Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile all seek to impose.

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Verizon

Verizon has a per message surcharge that they've applied to Outbound SMS and MMS. For SMS the surcharge is $.00255 and for MMS it's $.0052. There are no additional charges or requirements for registering brands or traffic. More about Verizon 10DLC can be found here

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AT&T 

AT&T is looking to impose a class-based system with different surcharge amounts depending on which class is assigned to a given campaign. Classes are assigned based on the information gathered in the registration process. AT&T has selected a company called The Campaign Registry (TCR) as a third-party vendor to run their campaign registries. Bandwidth customers can either choose to register their A2P campaigns with TCR directly or can work with Bandwidth to register campaign information with TCR. Our 10DLC registration process will be available in the coming weeks.

AT&T will have a grace period for registration. Starting on March 1, 2021, all outgoing SMS traffic to AT&T will incur a $.002 surcharge and all outgoing MMS traffic will incur a $.0035 surcharge. This grace period has been extended and we will update once we have a new date. 

These are the classifications TCR and AT&T have established. Special use cases will require additional vetting. The classification process and risk classification are proprietary to TCR. 

Message  Class Risk Level Use Case Campaign Type SMS Fee MMS Fee
A Low 2FA/authentication/customer care /operations /notifications, etc. Declared .002 .0035
B Low Mixed  Mixed/ Marketing .003 .0035
C Medium 2FA/authentication/customer care /operations /notifications, etc. Declared .002 .0035
D Medium Mixed Mixed/ Marketing .003 .0035
E High 2FA/authentication/customer care /operations /notifications, etc. Declared .002 .0035
F High Mixed Mixed/ Marketing .003 .0035
T High Mixed Basic/ Default .004 .005
G Special Group messaging Special .002 .0035
P Special Charity Special .000 .000
S Special Social engagement Special Restricted Restricted
Q Special Political messaging Special .002 .0035
X Special Emergency services Special .000 .0000
Z Special Large CSP free trial offers with strict controls Special .002 .0035
N Special Insurance agents, franchises, local branches Special .003 .0035

More about AT&T 10DLC can be found here

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What do all of those use cases mean? 

Please see this article for more information.

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T-Mobile

T-Mobile has given a go live date of April 1, 2021 for their surcharges and campaign activation fees. We're expecting to hear more about limited throughput and how customers can register to gain higher throughput soon and will be publishing an update next week. Our current understanding is that T-Mobile plans to mandate the following as part of its “industry-wide policies,” which can be subject to change:

  • 10DLC Campaign Service Activation or Migration: A $50 one-time provisioning fee (pass-through fee for each campaign registered).
  • 10DLC SMS per message surcharge fee: $.003 for Inbound and Outbound SMS beginning on April 1, 2021.
  • 10DLC MMS per message surcharge fee: $.01 for Inbound and Outbound MMS beginning on April 1, 2021.
  • T-Mobile NNID Registration: A $2,000 one-time fee for customers that choose to utilize a custom NNID. Most Bandwidth customers won't need to be concerned with this. 
  • Special Business Review Request: A $5,000 one-time fee for when a customer has an edge use case, such as the use of proxy numbers for business or rideshare, or the brand needs a very high capacity. Click here for more details. 
  • New non-compliance fees for violation of practices spelled out in T-Mobile’s Code of Conduct:
    • Text Enablement: There will be a $10,000 fee if T-Mobile receives a complaint that traffic is being sent prior to the program being fully approved.
    • Grey Route: There will be a $10 fee per message if A2P messages are sent over P2P routes.
    • 10DLC Long Code Messaging Program Evasion: There will be a $1,000 fee if a program is found to be using techniques such as snowshoeing, dynamic routing, or unauthorized number replacement. 
    • Content Violation: There will be a $10,000 fee for each unique instance of the third or any subsequent notification of content violating the T-Mobile Code of Conduct involving the same content provider. This includes SHAFT (Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco) violations, spam, phishing, and messaging that meets the Severity 0 violation threshold per the CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook.

T-Mobile Fees & Special Business Review Specifics 

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Terms and definitions

Application-to-person (A2P): As defined by the CTIA, all commercial or business messaging is now considered A2P traffic, whereas person-to-person (P2P) is reserved for mobile end user exchange only, barring exemptions. 

10 Digit Long Code (10DLC): The traditional long code phone number which can be utilized for both voice and messaging. Historically, its been used for P2P communication but in the past few years more businesses have begun to utilize these numbers to send messages.

The Campaign Registry (TCR): The newly conceived third-party central hub AT&T and T-Mobile have designated for registering A2P 10DLC messaging campaigns. The Campaign Registry was chosen by AT&T and T-Mobile to register application-to-person (A2P) text messaging campaigns.

Content Provider: The actual brand/entity that is crafting the message content payload to the subscriber.

Direct Connect Aggregator (DCA): A company that has a direct connection to a Mobile Network Operator (MNO) Gateway and transmits messages on behalf of its customers or “content providers”. Bandwidth is an example of a DCA.

Campaign Service Provider (CSP): The primary user of TCR. A CSP works with multiple brands to create and launch SMS messaging campaigns. A customer supporting a large number of different brands may find it easier to work directly with TCR. Customers with fewer brands may want to use Bandwidth as their CSP.  

Brand: The company or entity initiating messages to the consumer.

Campaign: A collection of information used to identify use case and CTIA compliance for carrier evaluation. A campaign requires details such as message examples and industry vertical

Class (AT&T Only): There are approximately 15 different classes that may be assigned to a campaign by TCR based on a proprietary system of evaluation established by AT&T. Class assignment is based on elements such as brand identity verification, industry, and use case/campaign type. The class assignment will determine the campaign throughput and per-message surcharge for the campaign. Standard use cases will receive a class assignment immediately upon submission of the campaign (e.g., marketing, customer alerts, account notifications), while special use cases will require external vetting after submission but prior to activation (e.g., political, non-profit).

Reseller: According to TCR, a reseller is a company that supports multiple brands and resells the services of the DCA. 

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FAQ

The FAQ below is more heavily weighted to AT&T’s program as it's currently most well understood and also the most complex. Once we have more information from T-Mobile, we'll add additional questions on their program as well. 

Where can I find the T-Mobile Code of Conduct? 

The T-Mobile Code of Conduct Version 2.2 (effective November 2020) is attached at the end of this article. Click here to download it.

What is The Campaign Registry?

The Campaign Registry (TCR) is a new component to the Long Code messaging ecosystem. It's currently envisioned to be a third-party company chosen by AT&T and T-Mobile for registering A2P 10DLC messaging campaigns. TCR is administered by a third-party company that works with the mobile carriers that have chosen TCR to administer brand registration on their behalf. Verizon has chosen a simpler route that involves a blanket surcharge on top of messages without additional registration.

Why do we need to register 10DLC campaigns?

The industry has been working for many years to find ways to support the use of local numbers to deliver A2P messaging traffic to mobile subscribers at volume. Following the recognition by the CTIA in 2019 that local and toll-free numbers are valid methods for delivering A2P traffic, mobile carriers have been developing their 10DLC solutions.

As described above, AT&T, and T-Mobile have decided to require registration and payment of additional fees as their requirements for increasing throughput caps for campaigns that should be granted a higher messaging class. These carriers are also requiring the use of TCR in order to capture additional information on A2P message senders and what kind of traffic is being sent to their mobile subscribers. TCR enables SMS messaging service providers to register 10DLC campaigns on behalf of the brands they work with.

Can I register via API?

Yes, Bandwidth is developing both a portal and an API for the registration process. TCR already has a portal and an API for customers who are going directly to them. 

Will we need to register campaigns for each brand that a Bandwidth customer supports? 

Based on our current understanding, each brand will need to be registered individually. This means similar use cases for different companies can't be lumped together in one registration. 

How long will it take a campaign to be approved?

Based on our current understanding, campaigns for standard use cases should be approved immediately. Specialty use cases will require additional vetting and we're working to confirm an exact timeline with TCR. 

What happens if we choose not to register campaigns with TCR? 

If you choose not to register but would still like to utilize 10DLC routes, you'll automatically be assigned Class T and the associated attributes (higher carrier per-message surcharge, lowest throughput), but will still be able to send traffic. As of this writing, AT&T plans to block traffic not registered after June 2021. 

If the traffic is blocked by a carrier, will it also be blocked by its subsidiaries?

Yes, any blocking by a carrier extends to its subsidiaries. For example, if your traffic is blocked by AT&T, it'll also be blocked by Cricket Wireless.

Is there a limit on the amount of phone number associated with a campaign? 

We're still working to confirm the limit on the amount of numbers associated with a campaign. We know that more than 1 number can be associated, but we don't yet know the upper limit. 

What if I don’t agree with the messaging class I was assigned? 

If you don't agree with the class that's been assigned to a campaign and you’ve entered all of your information accurately, you may request external vetting from a third-party provider for a fee. Bandwidth doesn't assist or mediate messaging class disputes with TCR. There's a risk of being assigned a lower class than initially given if you choose to dispute. 

Who do I contact for troubleshooting issues with TCR? 

The Campaign Registry has a ticketing system where a ticket can be opened by emailing support. However, we believe AT&T is developing a specific escalation path for campaign-related delivery issues (i.e. blocking), which hasn't yet been finalized. 

What happens after a campaign is registered? 

After successful registration of a campaign, you'll need to assign the Campaign ID to the phone numbers that will be associated with the campaign within the Bandwidth Dashboard. Once selected, these numbers will be activated on the messaging campaign. We'll have more documentation on this process coming soon.

Which Vertical should I choose?  

Choose one that aligns with the majority of your customer base. There might not be a direct fit, but choose the closest option. 

Do I have to register a campaign and brand for every single customer I have? 

A Campaign ID will need to be attached to each phone number to ensure it does not experience any blocking. AT&T has extended their grace period and we'll let you know when they implement a new date. 

Should I register with Bandwidth or with TCR directly? 

If you support a large number of brands, we encourage you to reach out to TCR directly to explore becoming a Campaign Service Provider (CSP). You'll have the option to begin registering campaigns immediately through them. 

If I have two customers with similar use cases, can they be placed on the same brand/campaign?

No, each brand will need to have its own campaign unless they all fall under a larger parent company. Each campaign should be associated with a single company.

Is this only for SMS messages? 

No, it's for both MMS and SMS messages. 

Please feel free to reach out to your account manager if you have any questions not listed above. Not sure who your account manager is? Please open a ticket with your Bandwidth Support Team or hit us up at (855) 864-7776!

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Bandwidth Support Team

T-Mobile update: Per-message surcharges went into effect on April 1, 2021. However, the April 1 date for the special business review and campaign activation fees has been postponed. T-Mobile will provide a 30-day notice ahead of the new date.

AT&T update: To address specific use cases and allow time for additional campaign registration, AT&T has extended the registration grace period until further notice.

10DLC pass-through fees went into effect on March 1, 2021. However, AT&T is temporarily offering discounted SMS and MMS rates during the registration grace period. Beginning March 1, the following discounted rates continue to apply:

  • SMS will be flat rated for all classes at $0.002 per message sent
  • MMS will be flat rated for all classes at $0.0035 per message sent

AT&T will provide at least a 30-day notice of any changes to these discounted rates. Unregistered traffic will continue to be subject to P2P spam policies and traffic throughput restrictions, as well as the above discounted rates.

As of July 1, both AT&T and T-Mobile will begin charging surcharges for toll-free traffic. We've posted them in our carrier surcharges article, so that you can begin calculating the impact it will have on you. 

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