USA SMS: Products and Compliance

United States

Sender ID Numeric. All SMS sent to the US must originate from either a U.S. pre-approved long number or short code. Alphanumeric sender IDs are not supported.
Dialing code 1
Major Carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint
Number portability Yes
Message length 160 characters. 
Support for Concatenated message No
Sender ID Supported - Long Code (dedicated number) standard 10-digit phone numbers that are used to send and receive text messages and handle voice calls
- Dedicated/FTEU Short Code
- Toll-Free
Setup Time  Within 7 business Days for Long Code & Toll-Free
6 to 8 weeks for Dedicated Short Code 
Support for Two Way SMS Within the US and Canada only (Both USA and Canada are able to send and receive Two Way SMS)

All USA SMS channels use numeric sender’s only. 

8x8 currently offers 3 types of Sender ID channels: Short/TFEU Codes, Long Codes, and Toll-Free


Short Code

  • Short Codes are carrier approved programs, all short code programs are verified and tested by the carriers before they are live. 
  • Short Codes offer superior speed and reliability.
  • Short Code routes support binary and Unicode encoding, and delivery receipts.
  • Short Codes are short 5+ numeric codes (ex. 11111), easy to remember and dedicated. 
  • Short Code supports GSM 7-bit default alphabet and extension table - 3GPP TS 23.038

Free To End User Short Code (FTEU) 

  • Offers the same feature as Dedicated Short Code.
  • The owner of the Free to End User Short code will be responsible for all costs (inbound and outbound).
Long Code
  • Long Codes are standard 10 digit numbers that are text enabled for SMS
  • Long Codes are best used for one to one messaging or services messages. 
  • When used for high volume, more Long Codes may be required in order to process all messages. 
  • Special characters are not supported.
  • Repeated Links and prohibited content are blocked by the carriers.
  • Long Code supports binary and Unicode encoding
  • Long Code does not support delivery receipts.
  • Long Code supports GSM 7-bit default alphabet and extension table - 3GPP TS 23.038
  • Toll-Free support binary and Unicode encoding, and delivery receipts.
  • Both inbound and outbound SMS will be billed. 
  • Toll-Free has higher speeds and throughputs over Long Codes.
  • Toll-Free content must be whitelisted before a number can go live.
  • Public URL shorteners are not allowed and will be blocked by the carriers. 
  • Rotation of Toll-Free numbers will result in carrier blocks. 
  • Toll-Free supports GSM 7-bit default alphabet and extension table - 3GPP TS 23.038

US Delivery Options

U.S. SMS Sending Options Long Code Dedicated Short Code / Free to End User (FTEU) Toll-Free
Example 12013511943 12345 1-888-555-5555
Throughput Limit 1 MPS 100 MPS 30 MPS
Coverage to Canada Yes No (Customer must purchase a Canadian dedicated short code) Yes
Two Way SMS support Yes Yes Yes
Suggested Use Case


1 to 1 Messaging, Notification Alerts Non-Marketing,

Customer Service,

and Chat Applications

High Volume Messaging,



High Volume Messaging, 


Setup Time Up to 7 Business Days

8-12 Weeks

Up to 7 Business Days
Delivery Receipts (Selected Carriers*)


(carrier will send a received status code, but there will be no confirmation receipt) 

Yes Yes

*Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint

SMS Compliance

Opt In Requirements:

All receiving recipients must be opted in to receive the content they have signed up for.

Senders must be able to provide opt in methods if there is a carrier request.

Sending to purchased/imported lists of recipients who have not opted in is not allowed.


Opt Out and Help Requirements:

Customers will be responsible for all opt out, “STOP, END, CANCEL” and “HELP”, commands that are sent from their clients.

If “STOP, END, CANCEL” is received, the number must be blocked from receiving additional SMS from the sender ID. 

Example if a recipient texts in “STOP”, the following should be sent:

“You have unsubscribed to 8x8 messaging, Reply HELP for help.”

If “HELP” is received, the sender must respond with an email or contact number of the sender ID. 

Example if a recipient texts in “HELP”, the following should be sent:

“8x8: Help at 888888888, msg&data rates may apply, 2msg/mo of alerts, Reply STOP to cancel”


Express Consent and Written Express Consent: 

Solicitation messaging requires proof of written consent. Evidence may include electronic opt-ins via mobile keyword and online sign-up pages. Written consent may be evidenced by paper sign-up forms explicitly describing SMS messaging content.

Non-solicitation messages (e.g., internal communications, emergency alerts) require documented written or verbal consent.


Sender ID Header and Footer Requirements:

All SMS must have their identification name in the header of the message.

Example: If “8x8” is the brand name, the messaging format must be:

“8x8: Hello this is a message from 8x8”

Additionally if you are sending marketing messages, they require an Opt out and Help footer. 

Example: “8x8: Save 10% on your next order, Reply HELP for Help, Reply STOP to cancel.” 


Prohibited Content:

Carriers prohibit SMS messaging when it is unsolicited commercial content and considers this content to be "spam".

The following types of messaging on all SMS messaging products (Long code, Toll-Free, Dedicated/FTEU Short Codes) are all prohibited:

  • Content or links to content related to sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco
  • Financial offerings
  • Payday loans
  • Short-term loans
  • Auto loans
  • Mortgage loans
  • Student loans
  • Debt consolidation and reduction
  • Debt forgiveness
  • Investment opportunities
  • Affiliate lead and/or commission generation
  • Credit repair programs
  • Tax relief programs
  • Work from home programs
  • Get rich quick programs 
  • Gambling
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Prescription Drugs


Fraud and Phishing:

  • Attempts to gain unauthorized access or username/password data
  •  Password or PII (Personally Identifiable Information) gathering
  •  If it's illegal, it's not allowed



  • Impersonating a brand and/or identity of someone or something
  • Using brand names or marks without the consent of the brand


Donations or Charity:

  • AT&T and T-Mobile will block all content that is based on text to donate or if it contains any type of charity related content.


Industry References:

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