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The Case For Long Codes: Google Voice, VOIP, Pre-Paid, Rural And Everyone Else

January 20, 2011 1:55 pm by

So far we’ve we discussed the lengthy process of obtaining a dedicated short code and the high costs involved. Now let’s take a look at how long codes can send and receive text messages with some popular ‘carriers’ that short codes cannot reach.

Just yesterday Google Voice announced that you can now port your mobile phone number into their system. As you no longer need a new phone number to use the full set of features that Google Voice offers we can only expect Google Voice to grow in popularity. Google Voice, popular VOIP providers and many pre-paid cellular carriers are unreachable via short code. Customers who use these services cannot send text messages to short codes and you cannot receive the text messages you send them. Simply put, millions of Americans are cut off from short codes. If you want to reach them you need to send and receive your text messages using long codes.

Rural Americans are another group of people who are unreachable via short codes, as many of the smaller ‘Tier 3’ carriers still do not support short codes. Finally, some major carriers are increasingly disabling short code access on new phones by default. If you’re trying to disseminate emergency text messages the last thing you want to worry about is explaining (by some other means) that your recipients might need to text HELP to your short code or call their carrier to enable short code access.

To review: Customers using Google Voice, VOIP providers, rural carriers, and some of the largest prepaid carriers are largely unreachable using short codes. Text messages delivered via long code can reach any mobile phone, anywhere, anytime.

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