Damon Cooper On Obtaining An SMS Short Code

Someone on the cf-talk list asked about obtaining a SMS account and short code, and Damon Cooper posted a response with some valuable links. Here is an extract from his post:
Most of the major wireless carriers provide SMPP accounts directly (AT&T Wireless, etc) for access to a specific carrier’s wireless customers, but for access to cross-carrier wireless subscribers, you’ll need an SMPP account with what’s known in the biz as a “Connection Aggregator”. This company provides you a single, simple SMPP account, and then routes messages to/from the individual wireless carriers behind the scenes (using direct individual SMPP accounts for each, typically).
So who are these aggregators and where do you get one of these accounts? Here’s a quick set of pointers to a few:

Also, visit the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association’s Common Short Code Administration site for more about short codes.

10 responses to “Damon Cooper On Obtaining An SMS Short Code”

  1. Yacoubean Avatar

    This seems like valuable information that oughta be posted to (if its not already). You guys keep talking about the coolness of SMS and gateways with CF MX 7, but most folks don’t have a clue how all that stuff works (including me).

  2. Ali Avatar

    Thanks for posting this information Ben. I originally posted the question to CF-Talk, and didn’t really find what I was looking for through my own research. But this definitely helps.
    Just a point to note.
    ClickATell, supports SMPP3.3, whereas CFMX7, requires SMPP3.4, I believe.

  3. jerryhamby Avatar

    So which provider does Macromedia use? I ditto the comments that we need an article written on the whole SMSC / SMPP issues. This will push people using the Gateways quicker. I have done some simple research and this stuff looks expensive for a small shop.

  4. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    I believe that we use m-Qube.

  5. Claude Avatar

    We chose Hay Systems and we obtained quick and reliable answers to all our questions. After proceeding to all the administrave work (approx. 48 hours delay to get an account) it took us… 2 minutes to setup our first real life SMS application using MX 7 gateway and Hay Systems services !!!

  6. Bob Avatar

    Maybe a dumb question: Are short codes required to run SMS applications? They are very expensive. $500/month lease is the cheapest. Furthermore there are only 79,999 possible combinations. This does not make sense.

  7. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Nope, you can use a full SMS id too, short codes are obviously preferred by organizations who use SMS extensively.

  8. Bob Avatar

    Thanks Ben but Clickatell has posted the following on their website:
    "All messages being sent to the USA will now need to have a registered Shortcode as the Sender ID. Therefore all clients wishing to send messages to the US will now need a unique shortcode and all messages to the US will then be sent with this Shortcode as the Sender ID. The added advantage is that clients receiving the messages will be able to reply to the message. Clickatell can then send you the reply."
    This comes from:

  9. Bob Avatar

    I have contacted Neustar, the company that manages the US shortcodes and this was their response:
    Yes you need to register a Common Short Code if you are going to implement a SMS SMPP two-way messaging program. Carriers will not opt-in to your program unless you have a Common Short Code or you will not be able to have any one use your program without a CSC.
    Kind Regards,
    NeuStar – Common Short Code Registry
    CSC Customer Support
    So it seems shortcodes ARE required and they are very expensive. This most certainly will hinder small shops like ours from moving aggressivley into this area. Furthermore, the overall CSC plan does not seem well thought out. According
    to what I have read, there are only 79,999 possible combinations. Certainly this is not enough for the future.

  10. Bob Avatar

    I have an update on this issue. Common short codes (CSC) are indeed now required here in the US. However, to get around the high cost, some SMS providers are offering shared codes for much less cost. In this scenario, users must send a special keyword in the text message to a shared CSC to access the appropriate application.
    I am still not sure why CSC’s are required here in the US. There is no apparent technical reason. Some say it is to provide traceability for scams and spams, but others say it is to force us into paying extremely high rates to use their networks. Whatever it is, it does seem this will hurt small companies and hinder new development and innovation in this area. This will probably set us back years in a technology we are already behind.

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