SMS Glossary

Below is a list of key terms to know in the SMS industry. 



  • 10-Digit Long Code. 10DLC numbers are the traditional long-code phone number for both voice and messaging. 10DLC is a sanctioned A2P messaging channel in the U.S., but is not fully sanctioned in Canada yet. 



  • Application-to-Person. A2P messaging is any kind of traffic in which a person receives messages from a business rather than an individual. There are 2 types of A2P messaging that Ascent360 supports: Informational and Promotional. 


  • A carrier consent audit is an investigation of a messaging campaign where a downstream peer or carrier requests a message sender to provide proof that opt-in was collected for a set of receiving phone numbers. 



  • Carriers are cellular providers that create and maintain the telecommunications infrastructure. Carriers impose requirements on senders and traffic in order to remain compliant. Examples of carriers are AT&T, Verizon, and Bell


  • Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.



  • Call to Action. Language inviting an individual to opt-in to receive text messages from your business. 


  • Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association. The CTIA is is a trade organization comprised of wireless carriers that standardizes and publishes guidelines related to message sending. They also perform audits on the behalf of carriers. 


  • Federal Communications Commission. The FCC is a US federal agency that regulates interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. 



  • GSM-7 is a character coding standard used for SMS messages that can use up to 160 characters per segment. Generally, it includes non-special alphanumeric characters. 



  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Ascent360 uses HTTP to send messages on behalf of senders.



  • Keywords are case-insensitive words that, when received inbound to Ascent360, trigger a specific response. Examples include: START, STOP, HELP.


Long Code

  • A long code is a phone number which is typically a 10-digit number used to exchange SMS & MMS communication. Toll-free numbers in the form of 1-8YY also fall under messaging long codes. 



  • Florida's telemarketing rules which are a stricter version of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Florida's statute puts tighter boundaries on the rules set forth by the federal TCPA. 


  • Multimedia Messaging Service. MMS is the media version of a Short Messaging Service (SMS) text. MMS includes any messages sent with a gif, image, video, or audio clip over a traditional cellular network. MMS has a much longer character limit at 1,600 characters per segment. 



  • North American Numbering Plan. NANP is the telephone numbering plan for the PSTN World Zone 1 (20 countries in North America and the Caribbean, excluding Mexico, Cuba, and Haiti). NANP assigns 792 usable prefixes to every area code, and 10,000 telephone numbers to every prefix, which means that every area code has 7.92 million phone numbers. Still, phone numbers are a finite resource and eventually become exhausted as numbers are used. 



  • Over-the-Top. OTT apps and services use the internet for their communication rather than networks of traditional wireless carriers. Examples include WhatsApp and Telegram. Ascent360's messaging is not OTT. 



  • Person-to-person messaging. This is when 2 or more people communicate over text messaging. Ascent360 does not handle P2P traffic; the US and Canada do not consider any application-facilitated traffic to be P2P.


  • Transferring a number from one service provider to another.



  • Rich Communication Services messaging. RCS is the future of texting by combining the best features of SMS, MMS, and OTT to create a new standard that delivers those services within a single experience you can use on your existing mobile client. RCS is not yet universally supported, but is gaining adoption across phone and messaging providers.



  • Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco. Using terms related to SHAFT or anything illegal will cause a messages to be heavily filtered by downstream wireless carriers or blocked altogether. Carriers can also impose fines on senders for sending SHAFT-related content.


  • Short Messaging Service. This messaging only supports alphanumeric text and emojis.


  • Snowshoeing involves sending similar messages across multiple numbers. As this technique is commonly used by spammers and causes messages to be blocked, it should not be done.  



  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The TCPA is the federal regulation that restricts telemarketing calls and messages.

Toll-Free Number

  • Toll-free numbers are a type of sending number consisting of 10-digits and starting with an eight. Toll-free numbers first need to be verified prior to sending.