New – Send High-Volume SMS Messages from Dedicated Short Codes

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My bank, my credit card company, my mobile provider, and other businesses that I patronize often send me password reminders, service updates, and other important customer service information via SMS (Short Message Service) messages.

AWS customers have been able to use Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) to send SMS messages for many years (see Amazon Simple Notification Service Now Supports SMS for more info). These messages originate from a small set of 10-digit numbers that are shared by multiple AWS customers. Under the terms of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA), messages that originate from 10-digit numbers can support customer service and chat functions, but cannot be used for application-to-person (A2P) messages such as order updates, appointment reminders, or delivery of PIN codes. Also, each customer is rate-limited and can send at most one message per second. These rules and limitations protect customers, but also limit the applicability of SMS.

Dedicated Short Codes
Today, in order to allow you to make better use SMS in your applications, we are adding support for the use of dedicated SMS short codes. Because these codes are dedicated, you have the opportunity to build brand recognition around them.

You can now request a dedicated number (5 or 6 digits) through the AWS Management Console. While you wait for the phone carriers to approve your use case (a process which typically takes 6 to 12 weeks), we’ll work with you to configure the messages that your customers will see when they send HELP or STOP to the number.

With the number approved and the messages configured, you will be able to send up to 100 SMS messages per second to telephone numbers in the US.

You can request a short code by creating a support case in the Console’s Support Center. Select Service Limit Increase, choose SNS, and then pick Dedicated SMS Short Codes for the US Destinations. Then choose your use case and enter the number of short codes that you need as the New limit value:

While the carrier approval is underway, we’ll provide you with periodic status updates. We will also work with you to finalize the HELP and the STOP messages.

Pricing and Availability
There’s a one-time carrier surcharge of $650 for each dedicated short code. This covers the cost of the approval and the provisioning process at the carriers. After that, you pay $995 per dedicated short code per month.

If you plan to make use of a dedicated short code, take some time to read the CTIA’s Industry Best Practices for Messaging and the Mobile Marketing Association’s Code of Conduct.