Mobile phones are no longer just for making phone calls. Consumers use their devices for social media, information-gathering and increasingly, for messaging. In fact, texting is the most frequently used app on a smartphone, with the average adult spending 11 minutes a day messaging. The prevalence of text is not just on the consumer side. Messaging is the single most important channel for business. Most consumers prefer to hear from businesses and organizations via text over traditional communication and 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes.
Keeping Up with Demand
72 trillion text messages were sent last year and there is no sign of the text craze slowing down. Yet while the amount of messaging has greatly increased, the technology of messaging has not. Business text messaging originated as simple one-to-one business to consumer communication. As demand for business messages has increased, the technology of messaging services has not kept up. But this is changing with the introduction of new 10-digit long code (10DLC) technology.
Short Versus Long Code
Short codes allow businesses to send millions of texts per day at fast rates, but they have a few major flaws. One is that a short code number is quite costly. Second, short codes require an application process with the potential of months of waiting to be approved. Lastly, short codes do not support traditional phone calling.
Up until now, short codes were the only Application to Person (A2P) message channel supporting large text blasts. The introduction of long codes enables businesses and organizations to send bulk text messages from a local number.
What does 10DLC Mean for Consumers?
On the consumer end, things should look the same. With the transition, a standard 10-digit phone number will now support high volume messaging. The main feature for consumers is that messages will come from a local long-code number they can actually call back to place an order or get their questions answered.
The industry is still hashing out capabilities, but it is believed that 10DLCs should be able to send around 100 messages per second, a significant increase from the current 1 per second limit available on long codes. Verizon, Sprint and AT&T are up and running with their 10DLC beta programs. T-Mobile has said they will begin to implement in September.
CTIA guidelines defining what is Person to Person (P2P) versus Application to Person (A2P) traffic have been released and carriers are using them in determining appropriate routing of traffic. Carriers are trying to stay out of the press after the Remind101.com public relations battle and until a full implementation is completed, they will probably stay fairly quiet.
Bespeak is committed to helping our partners and customers with this transition. As far as we have heard, the 10DLC offering will only be affecting long code traffic at this point, which for Bespeak is fairly minimal compared to our short code traffic. Our robust short code plan will allow us to continue to offer best-in-class messaging delivery rates. There was talk early on that short codes would need to be transitioned to long codes, but we haven’t seen a push on that at this point. We believe this is due to short code holders cleaning up their traffic and making it more compliant with the carriers.
The most important thing for partners to know is that we are actively monitoring the always evolving messaging environment and are committed to being at the forefront of all messaging channels. If and when there are changes due to carriers or governmental compliance, Bespeak partners can rest easy knowing their clients’ messages will continue to be delivered. Bespeak is monitoring the changing landscape of messaging and will endeavor to communicate all upcoming news on this exciting new marketing channel.