Understanding Short Codes

Widely known in the industry as “short numbers,” a common short code is a 5 or 6 digit number that allows a software application to communicate with a mobile device. The carriers utilize short codes to allow for higher bandwidth and business to consumer messaging. Something SMS long codes do not support very well.

It is likely that the reason you are here reading this is because your SMS long code campaigns have begun to fail frequently and our friends at Twilio have sent you here. The carriers don’t particularly like to see a large amount of SMS traffic coming from long codes. They don't make money on long code SMS and they do everything they can to protect their subscribers from spam.

They act quickly to shut long codes down so they can protect SMS messaging from becoming the next generation email problem. And they could care less if your long code SMS program was compliant.

Thus, there are a handful of reasons to work with the cloudwi.re platform.

High Volume

The carriers expect large volumes of messages over a short code and allow it as long as abuse is not occurring.

Lower Fail Rate

As you have read above, the carriers can frown on long codes from time to time. A short code message has a much higher degree of delivery success as long as the SMS is to a mobile subscriber on a carrier that supports short codes.

Higher Bandwidth

The carriers allow up to 200 messages per second to be delivered on each cloudwi.re assignable short code. With our patented cloudwi.re opt-in routing logic, that gives each store the maximum available bandwidth of 270 messages per second. This allows campaigns to fly out the door quicker.

With an SMS long code, you are limited to 1 message per second per long code. If you need higher bandwidth, the carriers will allow that as well, but contact us to inquire about pricing. Be prepared though. It isn't cheap.

Delivery Reporting

The cloudwi.re SMS API takes advantage of the carrier error reporting on deliverability. It is of a much higher degree of accuracty then reporting on long codes. In nearly all circumstances cloudwi.re will know if the message was delivered.

US Short Codes Carrier Support

For now and the forseeable future, cloudwi.re only maintains short codes in the United States. In the USA, those carriers are as follows:

Major carriers: AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile USA.

Minor carriers: Advantage Cellular (DTC Wireless), Aio Wireless, Alaska Communications Systems (ACS), Appalachian Wireless (EKN), Bluegrass Cellular, Boost Mobile, Carolina West Wireless, CellCom, Cellular One of East Central IL (ECIT), Cellular One of Northeast Arizona, Cellular One of Northeast Pennsylvania, Chariton Valley Cellular, Cricket, Coral Wireless (Mobi PCS), Cross, C-Spire (CellSouth), Duet IP (Maximum Communications New Core Wireless), Element Mobile (Flat Wireless), Epic Touch (Elkhart Telephone), GCI, Golden State, Google Voice, Hawkeye (Chat Mobility), Hawkeye (NW Missouri), Illinois Valley Cellular, Inland Cellular, iWireless (Iowa Wireless), Keystone Wireless (Immix Wireless/PC Man), Metro PCS, Mosaic (Consolidated or CTC Telecom), MTA Communications
, MTPCS (Cellular One Nation), Nex-Tech Wireless, NTelos, Panhandle Communications, Peoples Wireless, Pine Cellular, Pioneer, Plateau (Texas RSA 3 Ltd), RINA, Sagebrush Cellular (Nemont), SI Wireless/Mobile Nation, Simmetry (TMP Corporation), SouthernLinc, SRT Wireless, Thumb Cellular, Union Wireless, United Wireless, U.S. Cellular, Viaero Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and West Central (WCC or 5 Star Wireless).

MMS-enabled US short codes are able to deliver MMS messages to the following mobile phone carriers: AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico is supported in the US on only 3 of the 4 major carriers. However, delivery is not guaranteed. Supported carriers are: AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Verizon is not supported.


The cloudwi.re SMS API retains a robust amount of Canadian long codes to support sending up to 20 messages per second in Canada. We do not anticipate acquiring Canadian short codes anytime soon. Additionally, cloudwi.re supports keyword campaigns for designated Canadian marketing long codes. You can find the list of those codes in the Admin portal.

Other International Locations

At this time, cloudwi.re carries global enabled USA long codes that can send messages to the list of countries found here. Bear in mind that sending messages to subscribers in England or Brazil from a US Mobile Number can increase the expense for those respective subscribers in those countries. If you intend to send higher volumes to any country, please contact support. Tell us the country you need and the projected volume.

Note that cloudwi.re does not keep marketing long codes in any country other than Canada and only 2-way opt-in messsaging is allowed.

Alphanumeric Sender ID

Alphanumeric Sender ID is not supported in the United States and Canada due to compliance concerns. Additionally, cloudwi.re does not support it outside of North America.