The Future of Shared Short Codes in 2021

The short answer: there is none.

Earlier this year, all major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) announced changes to CTIA Principles and Best Practices that will affect companies and organizations using shared short codes and long code phone numbers.

These changes are set to come into effect between March 1st - June 1st, 2021. They will impact deliverability, carrier fees, and messaging insights. 

A quick refresher on phone number types:

Shared short code: A five or six-digit phone number shared by organizations across industries.

Dedicated short code: A five or six-digit phone number used exclusively by the organization it is registered to.

Peer-to-peer long code (P2P LC): A ten-digit phone number designed for person-to-person traffic. These numbers are often used on P2P platforms but are not sanctioned by carriers for organizational outreach. 

10 digit long code (10DLC):
A ten-digit phone number used exclusively by the organization it is registered to. 
Here is a breakdown of the carrier changes to come:

The good 

One 10DLC for all your messages
Carriers will no longer allow multiple ten-digit numbers to send a broadcast. Moving forward all of your members, new or existing, will interact with the same 10DLC.

Less carrier filtering, better deliverability
A properly registered 10DLC will result in fewer incidences of carrier filtering moving forward.

Unlimited members
Strive will be updating subscription plans to reflect changes to carrier regulations.  All of our subscription plans will no longer include contact fees starting March 2021!

The bad

Bye-bye shared short codes
Carriers will no longer allow multiple brands to use the same short code. Carriers will begin to monitor short code traffic and will possibly block messages sent via shared short codes. 

New pass-through fees
Carriers will begin to charge a flat rate for outbound messages. For certain carriers, such as AT&T, this rate will depend on your industry.  

Disrupted delivery receipts
Carriers will no longer provide information on deliverability for messages sent on ten-digit long codes. Broadcast and flow reports on Strive accounts using a 10DLC will be impacted by this change.

The ugly

Carrier trust scores
Our least favorite part of the change: a new ranking system called “trust scores.” A trust score will be assigned to your organization by carriers during the 10DLC registration process. Trust scores will be based on several criteria, such as your organization’s brand recognition, use case(s), and industry.

Key Takeaways:
1. Organizations must use registered 10DLCs instead of P2P long code phone numbers.
2. Carrier’s will prohibit the use of shared short codes.

A lot is still unclear. We will continue to closely monitor carrier regulation developments and keep Strive users informed on upcoming changes.

What does this mean for me? 

Some carriers are allowing organizations a grace period between March 1st and June 1st, 2021 to transfer to 10DLCs or dedicated short codes. If your Strive account is currently using a long code, a member of our team will be reaching out to you directly in the coming weeks with next steps for registering your 10DLC. 

What if I am using a shared short code on another tool?

Since shared short code traffic will be prohibited by carriers, we suggest moving to a dedicated short code to avoid delivery interruptions.

Strive offers competitive rates for dedicated short codes, with quick turn-around times. To learn more, schedule a demo with our Partnerships team.


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