10DLC Overview and FAQ

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Emily Champion

Updated


T-Mobile update: T-Mobile has delayed the increase of per-message fees for unregistered traffic from $0.003 to $0.004 for Inbound and Outbound SMS, and from $0.01 to $0.013 for Inbound and Outbound MMS. They have also delayed the $50 Campaign Activation fee. Both of these fees have been pushed out indefinitely to allow for additional time to register. T-Mobile will give at least 30 days notice when the fees will go live. The following fees are still enforced beginning October 1, 2021:

  • T-Mobile NNID Registration - $2,000 per NNID
  • 10DLC Long Code Messaging Program Evasion - $1,000 per event
  • Text Enablement - $10,000 per event
  • Content Violation - $10,000 per event
The campaign registration fees will be waived until further notice:
  • Campaign Service Activation - $50 per campaign (doesn't apply to Sole Proprietor use case)
  • Campaign Service Migration - $50 per campaign (doesn't apply to Sole Proprietor use case)

AT&T update: AT&T hasn't announced specific enforcement details yet, so the following discounted per-message fees continue to apply:

  • $0.002 for Outbound SMS
  • $0.0035 for Outbound MMS

For more information, see T-Mobile 10DLC and AT&T 10DLC. To avoid increased fees, please register your Brands and Campaigns as soon as possible:

  • If you want to register with the The Campaign Registry (TCR) directly, reach out to your Account Manager or Bandwidth Support Team to enable your account. Please share your campaigns with Bandwidth so they can be imported to your account.
  • If you want to use Bandwidth to register your brands and campaigns, your Account Manager is also ready to help. Not sure who your Account Manager is? Please open a ticket with your Bandwidth Support Team or hit us up at (855) 864-7776.


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 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 for Outbound SMS and MMS. The SMS surcharge is $.00255 and the MMS surcharge is $.0052. There are no additional charges or requirements for registering brands or traffic. For more about Verizon 10DLC, please see Verizon 10DLC.

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AT&T 

AT&T has imposed a class-based system with different fee amounts depending on the class assigned to a given campaign during the registration process. AT&T has also selected The Campaign Registry (TCR) as a third-party vendor to run their campaign registries. Bandwidth customers can choose to either register their A2P campaigns with TCR directly or work with Bandwidth to register campaign information with TCR.

AT&T has a grace period for registration. Starting on March 1, 2021, all outgoing SMS traffic to AT&T incurs a $.002 surcharge and all outgoing MMS traffic incurs a $.0035 surcharge. This grace period has been extended and we'll provide more information once we have a new date. 

Below are the classifications established by TCR and AT&T. For use case definitions and information about the 10DLC registration process, please see Registering Brands and Campaigns for 10DLC.

Note: Special use cases will require additional vetting. The classification process and risk classification are proprietary to TCR.

Message  Class Use Case Campaign Type SMS Fee MMS Fee AT&T Messages Per Minute (MPM)
A & B Russell 3000 Standard .002 .0035 4,500
C & D

Large Business

(Vetting required to move from E & F to a higher class)

Standard .002 .0035 2,400
E & F Medium Business Standard .002 .0035 240
T Small Business Standard .002 .0035 75
W Very Small Business/ Sole Proprietor Standard .002 .0035 15
Not Tagged/ No Class Untagged traffic after grace period   .04 .05 Treated at P2P
throughput rates
and SPAM filters
G Group Messaging Special .002 .0035 60
K Political Messaging Special .002 .0035 4500
N Insurance Agents, Franchises, Banks Special .003 .0035 60
P Charity (Nonprofit 501(c)(3)) Special N/A N/A 2400
S* Social Media Platform Special .002 .0035 60,000
X Govt Emergency/ Public Safety Special N/A N/A 4500
K-12 Schools Special N/A N/A 720

*Platform must obtain "double opt-in" consent from customers and Carrier Approval is required

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T-Mobile

The following T-Mobile per-message fees went into effect on April 1, 2021 and continue to apply to all registered traffic:

  • $.003 for Inbound and Outbound SMS
  • $.01 for Inbound and Outbound MMS

The above fees will also apply to unregistered traffic until further notice.

Note: T-Mobile has announced that all of the following fees, except for the Campaign Registration (new and migration) fees, Grey Route and the Special Business Review Request, will be enforced beginning October 1, 2021. The Campaign Registration fees and Grey Route fees are waived until further notice. We have not received a start date for the Special Business Review fees.

 

Non-recurring fees: 

  • Campaign Activation or Migration: A $50 one-time pass-through fee for each campaign registered. This fee does not apply to the Sole Proprietor use case. This fee has been pushed out until we receive further notice from T-Mobile.
  • T-Mobile NNID Registration: A $2,000 one-time fee for customers that choose to utilize a custom NNID. This doesn't apply to most Bandwidth customers.
  • 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 higher daily throughput than assigned by T-Mobile. Please see the Special Business Review section below for more information. A minimum 30 day notice will be communicated prior to enforcing this fee.

Non-compliance fees for violation of practices spelled out in the T-Mobile Code of Conduct:

  • Text Enablement: A $10,000 pass-through fee if T-Mobile receives a complaint where you or your message sender text-enables a 10-digit NANP telephone number and sends messages prior to verification of message sender ownership and/or letter of authorization.
  • Grey Route: A $10 fee per message if A2P messages are sent over P2P routes. This fee is waived until further notice.
  • 10DLC Long Code Messaging Program Evasion: A $1,000 pass-through fee if a program is found to be using techniques such as snowshoeing, dynamic routing, or unauthorized number replacement.
  • Content Violation: A $10,000 pass-through 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 Daily Brand Limits

*Daily Bucket Maximums are inclusive of T-Mobile, Sprint and their MVNOs.

Risk Score Qualification  Vetting Type Score Bucket Range Maximum*
High-Performance Default 75 200,000
Low-Performance Default 0-24 2,000 
High 3rd Party 3rd Party 75-100 200,000
Upper Mid 3rd Party 50-74 40,000
Lower Mid 3rd Party 25-49 10,000 
Low 3rd Party 0-24 2,000 
Special N/A Discretionary Discretionary

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US Cellular

US Cellular is charging per-message surcharges of $0.005 for outbound SMS and $0.01 for outbound MMS. There are no requirements for registering brands or traffic at this time.

Note: As of June 1, 2021, US Cellular is also charging per message surcharges on P2P traffic. For more information, please see US Cellular P2P surcharges.

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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

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

Click here to download the T-Mobile Code of Conduct Version 2.2 (effective November 2020).

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 I need to apply for External Vetting? 

It depends on your use case and the amount of throughput you need. Brands are considered either:

  • Self Declared: Sole proprietors who self declare to their CSP - no verification done
  • Unverified: Companies that register and TCR cannot verify their identity
  • Verified: Companies that register and TCR can verify their identity
  • Vetted Verified: Companies that have registered and their identities have been verified through external vetting

Verified status grants access only to AT&T message classes E/F and T-Mobile brand tier Low. The classes/tiers in the middle require external vetting. If a brand is a Russell 3000 brand, then they will receive access to class A/B and the highest T-Mobile tier.

Bandwidth will be implementing external vetting in the Bandwidth Dashboard shortly, but in the meantime please reach out to your Bandwidth Support Team if you wish to be externally vetted. 

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. AT&T has plans to block messages that come from a number without a campaign assigned. 

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? 

AT&T and T-Mobile have determined the upper limit associated with a campaign is 49 TNs unless a Number Pool/Sub ID request has been approved. Bandwidth has an internal vetting process if you anticipate needing more than 49 TNs (requiring a Number Pool/Sub ID) on a campaign, so please reach out to your Account Manager to get the conversation started. Not sure who your Account Manager is? Please open a ticket with your Bandwidth Support Team or hit us up at (855) 864-7776!

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? 

TCR 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. Please visit Registering Brands and Campaigns for 10DLC for more information.

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. You will incur higher fees with T-Mobile starting 12/1 if your TNs are not registered/do not have a campaign attached. 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. 

Where can I ask additional questions?

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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Comments

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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Bandwidth Support Team

T-Mobile update: T-Mobile is expected to throttle unregistered traffic and increase per-message fees for it from $0.003 to $0.004 for Inbound and Outbound SMS, and from $0.01 to $0.013 for Inbound and Outbound MMS beginning October 1, 2021. The following additional fees will also be enforced on that date:

  • Campaign Service Activation Fee - $50 per campaign (doesn't apply to the Sole Proprietor use case)
  • Campaign Service Migration Fee - $50 per campaign (doesn't apply to the Sole Proprietor use case)
  • T-Mobile NNID Registration - $2,000 per NNID
  • 10DLC Long Code Messaging Program Evasion - $1,000 per event
  • Text Enablement -  $10,000 per event
  • Content Violation - $10,000 per event

AT&T update: AT&T hasn't announced specific enforcement details yet, so the following discounted per-message fees continue to apply:

  • $0.002 for Outbound SMS
  • $0.0035 for Outbound MMS

For more information, see T-Mobile 10DLC and AT&T 10DLC. To avoid increased fees, please register your Brands and Campaigns as soon as possible:

  • If you want to register with the The Campaign Registry (TCR) directly, reach out to your Account Manager or Bandwidth Support Team to enable your account. Please share your campaigns with Bandwidth so they can be imported to your account.
  • If you want to use Bandwidth to register your brands and campaigns, your Account Manager is also ready to help. Not sure who your Account Manager is? Please open a ticket with your Bandwidth Support Team or hit us up at (855) 864-7776.

US Cellular update: US Cellular per-message surcharges went into effect on July 1, 2021. There's no action required at this time. These surcharges will continue to be automatically added to your future invoices. For more information, please see US Cellular P2P surcharges.

Toll-free update: As of July 1, 2021, both AT&T and T-Mobile continue charging surcharges for toll-free traffic. For more information, please see carrier surcharges and how they are applied.

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Bandwidth Support Team

T-Mobile update: T-Mobile has delayed the increase of per-message fees for unregistered traffic from $0.003 to $0.004 for Inbound and Outbound SMS, and from $0.01 to $0.013 for Inbound and Outbound MMS. They have also delayed the $50 Campaign Activation fee. Both of these fees will instead be going live on December 1, 2021 to allow for additional time to register. The following fees will still be enforced beginning October 1, 2021:

  • T-Mobile NNID Registration - $2,000 per NNID
  • 10DLC Long Code Messaging Program Evasion - $1,000 per event
  • Text Enablement - $10,000 per event
  • Content Violation - $10,000 per event
The campaign registration fees will be waived until further notice:
  • Campaign Service Activation - $50 per campaign (doesn't apply to Sole Proprietor use case)
  • Campaign Service Migration - $50 per campaign (doesn't apply to Sole Proprietor use case)
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