What Are 10DLC Numbers?

10DLC numbers are the latest innovation in text messaging numbers - and this could be the best one yet.  First there were short codes, then shared short codes, then text-enabled 10-digit numbers (called "A2P") and recently text-enabled toll-free numbers (TFNs).  What's the difference and why should I consider migrating to a 10DLC?  Here are the basics:

  • Fastest implementation of any number excluding shared short codes, which are being phased out by carriers.
  • Low cost of implementation - just a fraction of a dedicated short code and about the same as text-enabled toll-free number.
  • Highest messages-per-second throughput of all methods other than a short code.
  • Advanced approval of your use case by carriers, which means messages will almost never be labeled as spam (as long as you follow the rules) and blocked.  


Dedicated Short Codes

If you're currently using a dedicated short code, you don't have to read any further.  You already have the fastest, most reliable channel on which to send and receive your messages.  Short codes are approved by carriers to transmit commercial traffic and require strict adherence to compliance requirements by providers like TextPower.  Violations can result in the short code being blocked or revoked. TextPower handles all compliance issues for you and in the event of an audit by the number-controlling entity we work with you to resolve it quickly.  

Shared Short Codes

Shared short codes offer all of the same advantages with a few restrictions.  A dedicated short code is like an address for your own house; you can modify the inside, paint it a different color or do what you want to it.  Shared short codes are like an apartment number in a building with one address.  You can change the inside of your apartment but you cannot modify the front door, the signage, the mailboxes, etc.  

More importantly, carriers have announced that they plan to stop supporting shared short codes soon.  This means that everyone using TextPower's 85700 or 81888 codes will have to get their own code of some kind or another.  Fortunately, we make this simple, inexpensive and easy.  It's practically transparent for you and will actually create a more familiar environment for your end users. 

Text-enabled Toll-free Numbers

TextPower can text-enable your existing toll-free number or get a new one for you to use.  Enabling texting on your existing toll-free number does not affect the voice side of your capabilities at all - they are completely separate.  Text-enabled toll-free numbers (TFNs) don't have the same high-speed throughput as a 10DLC, and are substantially slower than a short code, but do offer the benefits of having a dedicated number.


10DLC numbers are, like short codes, approved by carriers, allow very high throughput compared to all other methods (except an actual short code) and rarely, if ever, experience blockages, violations of compliance, etc., because they are approved in advance by the carriers.  

TextPower takes your local number - such as the one you already have for reporting outages - and text-enables it with 10DLC.  Depending on your number and the provider we use it typically takes about a week to get it approved, and then becomes a "house" address.  You can change the messages such as the "universal" HELP response (which is the same for all users of a shared short code) and can pick any keywords you like because there are no other users of that shared short code who might have already reserved it.  

In short, 10DLC is the way to go for the future.  We strongly recommend it, we are experts at getting your number text-enabled and help you through the switch from your current number - whether it's a text-enabled toll-free number or a shared short code - to your own 10DLC number.  We will move all of your opt-ins, tags and keywords.  We'll even move your opt-outs so that if someone has opted out on your old number they won't get accidentally opted back in on the 10DLC.  


10DLC has all of the advantages of a short code - it's carrier-approved, has a high-throughput rate (messages sent per second) without the expense and implementation delays.  

  • If you are using a dedicated short code, stick with it.  
  • If you are using a shared short code you will have to migrate to another method sooner or later.  
  • If you are using a text-enabled toll-free number you can stick with that if you want but migrating to a 10DLC offers the advantages of a carrier pre-approval of messages and faster throughput.  

These waters can be difficult to navigate so let us help you.  We will be glad to arrange a conversation with one of TextPower's executive team to guide you to the right decision.