Certain mobile carriers are adjusting the throughput caps they've historically enforced on local messaging for business senders, also known as application-to-person (A2P) programs while imposing new registration requirements and paying additional fees. The throughput limits will vary, but wanted messages in registered campaigns should receive better throughput than the traditional 1 message per second (MPS).
Note: Not registering A2P campaigns with The Campaign Registry doesn't bypass the mobile carriers’ additional per-message fees.
What do I need to know?
Verizon launched its 10DLC program in February 2020 without a pre-registration requirement for A2P senders. Verizon’s A2P program supports additional throughput to Verizon subscribers on all local phone numbers but also includes increased per-message A2P fees. Meanwhile, AT&T and T-Mobile have created their own plans, with new and different requirements for local number message senders.
As AT&T and T-Mobile release more information, we'll provide updates on these requirements, including the key differences between the various rules Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile all seek to impose.
Verizon has a per-message surcharge for Outbound SMS and MMS. The SMS surcharge is $.0025, and the MMS surcharge is $.005. There are no additional charges or requirements for registering brands or traffic. Throughput limitations towards Verizon can be found below.
|SMS||6,000 TPM (Transactions Per Minute)|
|MMS||25 TPS (Transactions Per Second)|
Note: Throughput is measured at the TN level.
AT&T has created a class-based system with different fee amounts depending on the class assigned to a given campaign during the registration process. AT&T has also selected The Campaign Registry (TCR) as a third-party vendor to run their campaign registries. Bandwidth customers can choose to either register their A2P campaigns with TCR directly or work with Bandwidth to register campaign information with TCR.
AT&T's grace period for registration ended on March 1, 2022. Currently, all registered outgoing traffic to AT&T incurs a $0.002 surcharge for SMS and a $0.0035 surcharge for MMS. All unregistered outgoing traffic to AT&T incurs a $0.040 surcharge for SMS and a $0.0035 surcharge for MMS.
AT&T is increasing its surcharges on unregistered traffic starting on June 1, 2023. All unregistered outgoing traffic to AT&T will incur a $0.01 surcharge for SMS and a $0.015 surcharge for MMS. In addition, varying rates for the classes haven't gone into effect yet; therefore, all surcharges are charged at a flat rate based on the registration status.
Note: AT&T has delayed the previously announced higher MMS surcharge ($0.005) for all unregistered traffic until further notice.
Below are the classifications established by TCR and AT&T. For use case definitions and information about the 10DLC registration process, please see Registering Brands and Campaigns for 10DLC.
Note: Special use cases will require additional vetting. The classification process and risk classification are proprietary to TCR.
|Campaign Class||Use Case||Campaign Type||SMS Fee||MMS Fee||
Messages Per Minute (MPM)
Messages Per Minute (MPM)
|Rate Limit Settings|
|A & B||Russell 3000||Standard||.002||.0035||4,500||2,400||Per Campaign|
|C & D||
(Vetting required to move from E & F to a higher class)
|E & F||Medium Business||Standard||.002||.0035||240||150||Per Campaign|
|Not Tagged/ No Class||Untagged traffic after a grace period||.004||.0035||Treated at P2P
and SPAM filters
|Treated at P2P
and SPAM filters
|G||Group Messaging||Special||.002||.0035||60||50||Per Number|
|K||Political Messaging||Special||.002||.0035||4500||2,400||Per Campaign|
|N*||Insurance Agents, Franchises, Banks||Special||.003||.0035||60||50||Per Number|
|P||Charity (Nonprofit 501(c)(3))||Special||N/A||N/A||2400||1,200||Per Campaign|
|S*||Social Media Platform||Special||.002||.0035||60,000||TBD||Per Campaign|
|T||Small Business||Standard||.002||.0035||75||50||Per Campaign|
|W*||Very Small Business/ Sole Proprietor||Standard||.002||.0035||15||50||Per Campaign|
|X||Govt Emergency/ Public Safety||Special||N/A||N/A||4500||2,400||Per Campaign|
|Y||K-12 Schools||Special||N/A||N/A||720||50||Per Number|
|Z||Platform Free Trial||Special||.002||.0035||6||50||Per Number|
*Class S: Platform must obtain "double opt-in" consent from customers and Carrier Approval is required.
*Class N requires a minimum of 10 Agents/Branches for a campaign with a maximum of 5,000 Agents/Branches per campaign.
*Class W is limited to 1 TN per campaign.
The fees for unregistered traffic will be increasing starting on June 1, 2023, and will be increased every two months until December 2023:
Effective June 1, 2023
- $0.005 for Inbound and Outbound SMS
- $0.014 for Inbound and Outbound MMS
Effective August 1, 2023
- $0.006 for Inbound and Outbound SMS
- $0.015 for Inbound and Outbound MMS
Effective October 1, 2023
- $0.007 for Inbound and Outbound SMS
- $0.016 for Inbound and Outbound MMS
Effective December 1, 2023
- $0.008 for Inbound and Outbound SMS
- $0.017 for Inbound and Outbound MMS
- $0.003 for Inbound and Outbound SMS
- $0.0100 for Inbound and Outbound MMS
Note: T-Mobile has announced that all of the following fees, except for the Grey Route and the Special Business Review Request will be enforced beginning October 1, 2021.
T-Mobile has also announced reduced 10DLC messaging fees for approved 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, and emergency and educational campaigns, effective January 1, 2022. All campaigns approved by T-Mobile for reduced messaging fees must comply with TCPA laws, CTIA Best Practices, and T-Mobile Messaging Guidelines.
Effective December 1, 2022, T-Mobile is implementing a $250 non-use fee to ensure campaigns provisioned in their A2P platform are active and in use. This fee will be charged at the campaign level for any campaigns that do not have at least one telephone number added to them in a rolling two-month (60-day) window and could possibly be recurring.
- Campaign Activation or Migration: A $50 one-time pass-through fee for each campaign registered. Please note that this fee has been discontinued beginning September 1, 2022.
- Sole Proprietor Campaign Activation or Migration: A $1 one-time pass through fee for each sole proprietor campaign registered. This fee will begin applying on June 1, 2022. Please note that this fee has been discontinued beginning September 1, 2022.
- T-Mobile NNID Registration: A $2,000 one-time fee for customers that choose to utilize a custom NNID. This doesn't apply to most Messangi customers.
- Special Business Review Request: Currently there is a $500 per brand fee, to process these SBRs. In the future T-Mobile has advise there will be a $5,000 one-time fee for when a customer has an edge use case, such as the use of proxy numbers for business or rideshare, or the brand needs a higher daily throughput than assigned by T-Mobile.
Non-compliance fees for violation of practices spelled out in the T-Mobile Code of Conduct:
- Text Enablement: A $10,000 pass-through fee if T-Mobile receives a complaint where you or your message sender text-enables a 10-digit NANP telephone number and sends messages prior to verification of message sender ownership and/or letter of authorization.
- Grey Route: A $10 fee per message if A2P messages are sent over P2P routes. This fee is waived until further notice.
- 10DLC Long Code Messaging Program Evasion: A $1,000 pass-through fee if a program is found to be using techniques such as snowshoeing, dynamic routing, or unauthorized number replacement.
- Content Violation: A $10,000 pass-through fee for each unique instance of the third or any subsequent notification of content violating the T-Mobile Code of Conduct involving the same content provider. This includes SHAFT (Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco) violations, spam, phishing, and messaging that meets the Severity 0 violation threshold per the CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook.
T-Mobile Daily Brand Limits
Daily Bucket Maximums are inclusive of T-Mobile, Sprint, and their MVNOs.
The Daily Bucket Maximum is shared between all campaigns under a brand. This Daily Bucket Maximum is also shared between SMS and MMS for the brand.
Once the daily limit on a brand is reached, you should receive an Error Code back for messages that exceed the daily brand cap. By default, most brands will receive a Risk Qualification Score of Low, meaning the brand has a max of 2,000 messages to send to T-Mobile per day on that brand.
To increase the Risk Qualification Score, please go through the Third Party Vetting process to improve your score.
Note: If you have a brand with campaigns across several providers, all campaigns under the brand still share the daily bucket maximum, even if not all the campaigns are with the same provider. The daily brand cap resets at midnight PST.
|Brand Tier||Vetting Type||Score||Bucket Range Maximum|
|High 3rd Party||3rd Party||75-100||200,000|
|Upper Mid||3rd Party||50-74||40,000|
|Lower Mid||3rd Party||25-49||10,000|
US Cellular is charging per-message surcharges of $0.005 for outbound SMS and $0.01 for outbound MMS. There are no requirements for registering brands or traffic at this time.
Note: As of June 1, 2021, US Cellular is also charging per message surcharges on P2P traffic.
Terms and definitions
Application-to-person (A2P): As defined by the CTIA, all commercial or business messaging is now considered A2P traffic, whereas person-to-person (P2P) is reserved for mobile end user exchange only, barring exemptions.
10 Digit Long Code (10DLC): The traditional long code phone number that can be utilized for both voice and messaging. Historically, it's been used for P2P communication but in the past few years, more businesses have begun to utilize these numbers to send messages.
The Campaign Registry (TCR): The newly conceived third-party central hub designated by AT&T and T-Mobile for registering A2P 10DLC messaging campaigns. The Campaign Registry was chosen by AT&T and T-Mobile to register application-to-person (A2P) text messaging campaigns.
Content Provider: The actual brand/entity that is crafting the message content payload to the subscriber.
Direct Connect Aggregator (DCA): A company that has a direct connection to a Mobile Network Operator (MNO) Gateway and transmits messages on behalf of its customers or “content providers”. Bandwidth is an example of a DCA.
Campaign Service Provider (CSP): The primary user of TCR. A CSP works with multiple brands to create and launch SMS messaging campaigns. A customer supporting a large number of different brands may find it easier to work directly with TCR. Customers with fewer brands may want to use Bandwidth as their CSP.
Brand: The company or entity initiating messages to the consumer.
Campaign: A collection of information used to identify the use case and CTIA compliance for carrier evaluation. A campaign requires details such as message examples and the industry vertical.
Class (AT&T Only): There are approximately 15 different classes that may be assigned to a campaign by TCR based on a proprietary system of evaluation established by AT&T. Class assignment is based on elements such as brand identity verification, industry, and use case/campaign type. The class assignment will determine the campaign throughput and per-message surcharge for the campaign. Standard use cases will receive a class assignment immediately upon submission of the campaign (e.g., marketing, customer alerts, account notifications), while special use cases will require external vetting after submission but prior to activation (e.g., political, non-profit).
Reseller: According to TCR, a reseller is a company that supports multiple brands and resells the services of the DCA.