SMS/MMS text Messaging

Friends, not so sure if I can get answer from this community, but it doesn’t hurt trying. I’m looking for a way to send out text messages from a simple web-based interface. I currently use Twilio services for this, but they have introduced some sort of “10DLC” number registration in the USA, which is proving to be a very painful experience for me as they want the number registered into this 10DLC category, but I don’t send BULK messages.

10DLC is a legal requirement for everyone, not just a twillio thing.

It seems to be just a regulatory thing in the USA?

If you are messaging in the us then you get to deal with our pesky government

I’m in Canada and send a few text messages PER WEEK to the USA. Twilio is asking to register as a BRAND and to register a “campaign”.

10DLC applies to Canada when messaging US numbers.

Yes, apparently anything going into the USA requires registration.

James, what are the requirements? Are us teleco’s looking to have some sort of opt-out or opt-in verbiage included?

Here’s a breakdown of 10DLC requirements, considering individuals and businesses sending texts from Canada to US carriers:
What is 10DLC?

  • 10DLC (10-Digit Long Code) is a US-based system to improve messaging reliability and reduce spam.
    Requirements for Sending Texts from Canada to the US:
  • Registration with The Campaign Registry (TCR): Necessary for businesses and organizations sending A2P messages to US numbers. Registration includes providing your information and messaging use cases.
  • Brand & Campaign:
    • Brand: Represents your company/organization.
    • Campaign: Specific SMS use case (e.g., alerts, marketing). Provide sample messages and clear opt-in/out instructions.
  • Opt-in Consent: Always required! Explicitly obtain written consent from US recipients before messaging.
  • Compliance:
    • Abide by US regulations (TCPA) and carrier guidelines.
    • Be mindful of Canadian anti-spam laws (CASL)
  • CSP Partnership: You’ll likely need a Campaign Service Provider (CSP) for TCR registration and message management.
    Important Notes:
  • Fees: Registration and carrier fees may exist.
  • Vetting: Campaigns sometimes require carrier approval, depending on your use case.
  • Regulations Change: Stay updated on US and Canadian communication laws.
  • Special Cases: High-risk sectors (e.g., cannabis) may have stricter rules.

Jason, I’ve been brought up to speed and apparently, from what I see online, it’s affecting operations for a lot of business. Even those just sending texts to the field for their service technicians. This seems to be a very poorly implemented process and not very well thought out. I also send texts to myself through the Twilio Service that notifies me of certain server conditions, which of course isn’t working. This is a spectacular fail on the part of Twilio and American carriers.

Is it really affecting operations for a lot of business? Why? If they’re serious businesses, they registered their numbers and paid the small fee and moved on. Twilio’s form is super simple. Sounds like your use case might be “low volume mixed” which should end up costing you $19 to register and $1.5 per month. I kind of understand arguing about regulations and fees and stuff but you could have gotten it done by now and resumed texting. (at least my experience with Twilio was the process was pretty quick)

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Looking at this from a distance, I get the impression that, maybe because the fees are so low, the carriers haven’t bothered to distinguish between those who use texts for “campaigns” and those who use them in the context of a specific transaction, or for purely domestic purposes.

I think the OP wants to be treated as network operator, rather than an end user.

It’s not clear to me whether they actually have a network, or are just reselling. In the latter case, they are probably agents of the end user, rather than a network operator.

If they are a network operator, they will, presumably, have to enforce the rules on their, end user, customers, in the same was as Twilio are doing.

To expand on this, while consent can never be implied. If the user sends you a text first and is not opted in, you are allowed to send them an informational reply to that message. You cannot just start blasting them with notices, etc. because they texted first.

Well actually:

The following message categories are prohibited for SMS and MMS:

  • High-risk financial services
  • Third-party lead generation
  • Debt collection and forgiveness
  • “Get rich quick” schemes or Multi-level marketing
  • Illegal substances
  • Gambling
  • Sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco (SHAFT) **

SHAFT has some caveats:

** While Tobacco traffic is prohibited on Toll Free, it is allowed on Short Code, or Long Code, as long as proper age gating procedures are in place.

** Firearms and Alcohol traffic is allowed on Toll Free, Short Code, and Long Code, as long as proper age gating procedures are in place.

Vaping-related traffic is prohibited.

Oh and as a CPS, I can tell you right now they are not going to accept half-ass or generic answers. They are going to want full details on the opt-in process (how they can opt in, what methods) including that if you put “join on webpage” they will want to see that page.

I already have two campaigns I’m trying to register and they keep insisting on more details about what the campaign is overall, opt-in methods and making sure there is opt-out methods…

Oh and even though I didn’t submit websites as part of the brands/campaigns, one got rejected because the user doesn’t have an active website for their business. In other words, they are actually vetting the brand to make sure it is legit.

I use this to send messages to customers and techs in the field. Now since we are a registered VoIP carrier we also became a CPS to deal with 10DLC.

10DLC started in 2021, everyone has had at least 2 years now to actually take care of this. Since 2020 it’s was pushed for everyone that in Oct 2021, 10DLC will start to matter. Fees such as registration, vetting and other one time fees were waived for at least 2 years for everyone to get up to speed. Surcharges for being registered or unregistered were waived for at least 2 years. Last year is when all the special treatment pretty much got canned and normal operating procedures were enforced (vetting, fees, etc).

Nope, that is not how it works. 10DLC stands for 10 Digit Long Code which is the replacement to Shared Short Codes used in the US. Additionally, any number that isn’t on a mobile carrier network is considered A2P (Application-to-Person) meaning an API or other software is needed to send/receive messages. This is very important because VoIP numbers automatically fall into A2P and A2P means 10DLC. Non-mobile/VoIP Carriers need to get an exemption to do P2P (Person-to-Person) traffic.

As a CPS (much like Twilio) I can say, as long as everything submitted for the Brand and Campaign is straight forward and legit, the entire process takes less than 48 hours or so.

Is far as opt-in is concerned, would a simple message suffice where they click a check box and “Agree to send and receive text messages”?

You mean on a website? Yes, that can be fine. You just need to state that in the Message Flow details as part of the subscription process. They’ll want a link to review. You can even use an IVR to accept opt-ins. Again, consent cannot be implied so the process needs to involve the consumer (user) to actively opt-in for messages.

As pointed out, if I send you a text of “Hey, how are things today?” and I have not opted-in, you are allowed to reply back with “It’s alright. How are you?”. What you can’t do is then send me an outbound message about updates to your website or services. That requires my consent to do so and I haven’t given it.

You also need to be aware of certain things, such as when I send you a text that says “OPTIN” or “JOIN”…you need to send me an automated reply that indicates I am subscribed, what to send for help and how to unsubscribe. So I should receive something like:

“(Brand Name): You are now subscribed. Reply HELP for help/contact details. Reply STOP to unsubscribe.”

If I send HELP (or whatever keyword you use for this) I should automatically get back:

“(Brand Name): phone -1NXXNXXXXX, email: [email protected], address: 123 Some St City 99999. Reply STOP to unsubscribe”

If/when I send STOP to you I should get:

“(Brand Name): You have been unsubscribed and will not longer receive messages. Reply OPTIN to start receiving messages again in the future”

Also very important to note: If someone opts-out of getting messages from your campaign it means all numbers associated with that campaign. If you have 10 numbers associated, you cannot send to that consumer from any of those 10 numbers. Another note is that once they opt-out and you continue to send them messages, you could end up being reported. This will cost you pretty serious violation fees and very well could end up having any or all mobile networks block your brand/campaigns going forward.

I’m both a network operator and provide a very simple feature for my customers and their customers wishing to reach out with simple questions, such as “do you have stock”, etc. On the netops side, I run small hosting business with space and service just for customers that I do work for. The text message feature is part of “set” of features that I offer. The text feature has proven to be pretty popular on both the end-user side and the customer side, allowing for quick communications between the business owner and the end-user. I don’t have many American customers, but the difference in the exchange rate really helps. So you can clearly see how this change by large teleco’s has already affected a small business person.

This change was instituted by the mobile carriers, specifically, to combat spam/fraud text that have climbed over the years.

I mean, this has been around now for two years in the US. If you want to do business in the US with messaging on VoIP number, you need to follow 10DLC. Just as if you were a voice carrier terminating US to US call, you still need to be registered with the FCC, follow STIR/SHAKEN rules here and the 911 laws.

Blaze, I hear you. We are having the same problems, north of the border, with nonsense text messaging, so at least that process is in place to help combat this problem. It probably just a matter of time before we have a similar process in place here in Canada. It seems you have an extensive background in this area. Would you kindly consider visiting and click on the text message option? Does it appear to be in compliance from the end-user standpoint?