SMS sender ID (originator) – Number or text?

In many cases, it is desirable to have company name as the sender ID for an SMS, but there are some limitations when using text as a sender:

  • Sender ID can only contain max. 11 characters - (A-Z) and (0-9)
  • Using text (Alphanumeric) as sender, the receiver can not reply to the message. In other words, using text as the sender should only be used when a response isn’t needed.
Can I use any Sender ID?

Using alphanumeric sender, you can define the sender yourself, however as long as you are sending an SMS where the recipient is to respond to the message, SMS must be sent with the number your SMS solution is configured for. This could be:

  • Shortcode (Network specific) – Eg. 1960 / 26606
  • Longnumber (International number) – eg. +4799999999 / +4699999999
  • Shortcode + Subnumber (Norway) Eg. 19601298734564

A Shortcode is often a shared number – meaning several solutions are using the same number. When receiving SMS in to your service, you have to identify your service by using a keyword, in order to interact with your customer. Eg. Customer send: PUZZEL + text to 26606

When having a dialogue over SMS you can either use shortcode + Subnumber, or a unique longnumber for the service.  This is often used where SMS is initiated from a company to the customer, and the customer may respond to the SMS.


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