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Q: Text Messaging (SMS) Service ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Text Messaging (SMS) Service
Category: Computers > Wireless and Mobile
Asked by: mumblingmutant-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 26 Jun 2006 09:13 PDT
Expires: 26 Jul 2006 09:13 PDT
Question ID: 741137
I'm interested in how "universal text messaging" works. I see
billboards with "Text 59392 for more information". I have no idea how
every cell provider knows what 59392 routes to. American Idol, USA
Networks, and other places have launched services where you text a
code to a number that is obviously not a phone number and recieve
updates, right now it all seems like black magic. :)

Is there a specific terminology for this type (as described above) of
SMS/Text messaging?

Is there a list of providers for this type of service that can provide
you with a universal text messaging number?

Do you have to use a service to participate, or can you create your own?

Thank you.
Subject: Re: Text Messaging (SMS) Service
Answered By: tlspiegel-ga on 26 Jun 2006 11:20 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi mumblingmutant,    

Thank you for a very interesting question. 

1.  Is there a specific terminology for this type (as described above) of
SMS/Text messaging?
Yes, the terminology is Common Short Code (CSC)

2.  Is there a list of providers for this type of service that can provide
you with a universal text messaging number?
"Do common short codes work with all wireless service providers?

Not necessarily. All wireless service providers will have the option
of supporting (i.e., carrying traffic to and from the content provider
that leases the CSC) each common short code and its associated
application. The decision of whether or not to support a common short
code is left to the sole discretion of each wireless service

3.  Do you have to use a service to participate, or can you create your own?
You need a service to participate.  
"Where can I lease common short codes? Can I lease more than one at a time? 

CSCs may be purchased at or through a mobile
application provider. A single application allows for an applicant to
lease up to 20 CSCs. Multiple applications may be submitted at one

The Common Short Code Administration site has information that will
answer all your questions and more!


Common Short Code Policies and Procedures

"At application time, you must specify whether or not you want a
specific CSC (also known as a 'Selected CSC'). If you do not want a
specific CSC, the Registry will assign you a CSC randomly after
payment has been received and your application has been processed and
approved. Selected CSCs are also assigned on a first-come,
first-served basis from a pool of available CSCs."

[read entire article]

Click on the navigation bar for more information:

About CSC, Obtain a CSC, Implement A CSC, FAQ, Press, and Case Studies
at the very top of the page on the right, next to Home.


Addtional links:

Instant Messaging

SMS Short Codes Come Alive on TV
March 19, 2003

"...a subset of SMS has emerged, using short, carrier-assigned numbers
to provoke mobile users to initiate contact with specific promos.
"Short codes," abbreviated codes assigned by carriers, have provided a
solid revenue stream for operators and content providers in Europe and
Asia for some time. But short codes have gotten short shrift in the
U.S -- at least until now.

Reality TV Strikes Again 

Less than two months ago, AT&T Wireless became the first carrier in
the U.S. to support cell phone voting for TV shows, and the company
used short codes to do it. The carrier partnered with FOX and mobile
marketer Mobliss to allow SMS voting for hit show "American Idol,"
which broke records for viewership when it debuted last Summer. This
year, AT&T customers could join Paula and Simon in weeding out the
contestants by sending a text message to a short code, "IDOLS01," to
vote for the Idol of their choice each week."

[right side of article yellow background]

Short Codes Defined 
"Essentially a direct response medium, short codes let people send SMS
messages simply by dialing a four, five, or six-digit number, rather
than the 10-digit numbers used in person-to-person text-messaging.

They are easier to remember and easier to type than their longer
counterparts. To put it simply, letting users send a short, easy code
in response to a promotion makes it more likely that they will engage
with the campaign.

These numbers are of interest to carriers because they can be billed
at varying rates, which is exactly how operators in Europe have made
money from them."

[read article]


Texting to Win

"Common short codes are shortened five-digit phone numbers assigned by
wireless carriers. Rather than responding to a mobile marketing offer
by texting back to a full 10-digit phone number, consumers can send
their response via an easy to remember "short" code. They can be used
in a variety of ways -- enabling users to "text" (to IM) for details,
text for a call, text for a brochure, text to win, text for a voucher,
text to collect points, text for a quote, test for a test drive and so
on. By varying the short code or key word response given in each
channel, text response is also an excellent way to assess media
effectiveness. The personal nature of the mobile means it is an ideal
vehicle for deepening consumer interest in an ongoing event or


ClickZNetwork Solutions for Marketers

CTIA Debuts Universal SMS Short Codes 
October 22, 2003 

"The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association's (CTIA)
carrier members have launched common short code (CSC) capability via
five-digit numbers, opening the way for marketers and brand managers
to better engage consumers via SMS.

For marketers, the new cooperation on short codes could provide a
platform for the first truly user-friendly cross-carrier campaigns in
the U.S., since short codes are easier to remember than the 10-digit
phone numbers used in peer-to-peer SMS traffic."


"Participating mobile operators include ALLTEL(Quote, Chart), Cricket
Communications, Sprint PCS, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless
Services(Quote, Chart), Dobson Cellular Systems, T-MobileUSA, Virgin
Mobile USA, Cingular Wireless, Nextel Communications(Quote, Chart),
U.S. Cellular and Western Wireless."

keyword search:
common short code information details defined CSC

Best regards,
mumblingmutant-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Excellent Answer and sources. Thanks for your time.

Subject: Re: Text Messaging (SMS) Service
From: tlspiegel-ga on 30 Jun 2006 18:51 PDT
Hi mumblingmutant,,

Thank you for the 5 star rating and nice comments.

Best regards,

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