TextPower's system is uniquely flexible in that we can accommodate several different types of "codes" (numbers that carriers recognize) that can be utilized by customers to create an identity, facilitate internal communication, save expenses and ensure delivery of standard text messages (SMS) to every phone, everywhere.
Here are the different types:
Dedicated Short Codes:
A dedicated short code is a unique five or six-digit number like "12345" or "123456" that cellular carriers within the U.S. recognize and insure interoperability. These codes typically take 8-12 weeks to approach, require significant documentation and monitoring, incur substantial setup fees from the carriers (usually $5000 each) and a monthly lease cost of $500 for a random-generated code or $1000 for a vanity code, if it exists and is available. Companies that want to establish their own identity and have the short code be a recognized number or spell something (e.g., "PIZZA" or "AUTOS") will frequently elect to use a dedicated short code. Whether a short code is dedicated to one user, similar to a hone being occupied by one family, or shared amongst many users, similar to an apartment in a building containing many apartments, does not impact the speed or capacity of the code.
Shared Short Codes:
Shared short codes offer the advantages of dedicated short codes without the cost and hassle. Companies like TextPower establish one or more short codes, go through all of the approval processes and incur the upfront and monthly expenses of using a short code to share amongst many users. You can imagine this as being like a building that TextPower has purchased and rents apartments (the shared use of one of our short codes) to people that don't need an entire house, their own address, the expense and maintenance of a house).
The vast majority of TextPower's customers use service through our shared short codes. With the use of a shared short code you will be able to choose a "keyword" that will identify your share of the code in much the same way that an apartment number indicates which section of an apartment building you occupy. If you are mainly sending messages the keyword will be used very rarely, perhaps only to have customers "opt-in" to your service, which is the equivalent of subscribing to an email alert or newsletter - the customer has given you revocable permission to send them text messages.
Virtual Dedicated Short Codes™ (VDSC) - A TextPower exclusive feature:
Virtual Dedicated Short Codes give you the advantages of both a dedicated code and a shared short code - the best of both worlds. Messages sent from numbers that have been registered in our system do not require a keyword in the same way that a shared short code does (see above). This feature is ideal for companies that for example, want to send and receive messages to and from personnel in the field without having them preface each message with the keyword assigned to you for that shared short code, something that cannot be done on standard shared short codes.
This feature works on a proprietary technology and is not available through other text messaging providers. (TextPower also holds the trademark on the term "Virtual Dedicated Short Code™"). It was designed to facilitate easy communication in a chat-like format using SMS between offices and field personnel. TextPower also provides a web-based application for communicating with personnel in groups or individually (AlertDispatcher), but many customers use our powerful APIs to integrate the communication capability directly into their own applications.
Long codes are phone numbers, which can be either local landlines (LL) or toll-free numbers (TFN). They are ten digits long and have the same functions as short codes with one specific exception: the throughput speed on TFNs is about 20 messages per second, roughly 10% of a short code's throughput. If you would like to use the same number for customers to call you or send texts to you, or if you would like to have text messages sent to your customers come from the same number as that from which you call them, this is an ideal solution for you.
If your intention is to send blast messages to tens of thousands of people at the fastest possible speed either a dedicated short code or a shared short code is a better choice. But for small businesses or companies only expecting to send thousands, not tens of thousands, of messages at any given time and need speedy delivery TFNs are an excellent choice. LLs are ideal for two-way communication between your field team and your local office using our AlertDispatcher web-based application but are not recommended for high-speed, bulk throughput applications.
For additional information about short codes we suggest you watch our animated video that explains how they work.
We understand that these services are unique to the text messaging industry and don't expect everyone to understand all of it (other than us, of course - we're experts!) so feel free to contact us at 888.818.1808 or <Support@TextPower.com>.