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The Coming A2P Apocolypse

What is it you may ask? A2P stands for (Automation to Pier). Remember, P2P is for (Pier to Pier) and B2B is for (Business to Business) with regard to SMS/MMS/RVM (Ringless Voice Mail).

This is being strongly encouraged by the FCC to the telephone carriers. The CTIA otherwise known as (Carrier Telecommunications Industry Association) has taken it on itself to self-police the carriers. The three main carriers are ATT, T-Mobile, and Verizon. There are numerous carriers that are smaller and they are also included in the CTIA agreement.

All customers sending A2P traffic are subject to the FCC TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act)and any other applicable state or federal law, the guidelines for A2P traffic set by the CTIA and individual carrier codes of conduct to be executed and enforced at each carrier’s discretion. Failure to comply with carrier codes of conduct may result in damage to the carrier’s trust in the associated content provider or brand, traffic suspension, or a permanent ban of traffic from the offender.

Carriers can and do include their own, additional rules and regulations beyond the FCC TCPA and the CTIA Best Practices Guidelines. We recommend that you read through these carrier codes of conduct for details of each carrier’s unique expectations for the successful delivery of content on their network. Additionally, the regulations of the carriers and CTIA guidelines have been consolidated on this page for ease of reference. The information below may be updated or changed without notice as the telecommunications ecosystem continues to evolve.

There are all sorts of different qualifiers depending on the category your business falls in. For example, I have listed the most common use cases, but keep in mind that these are not all of them.

  • Adult Content Use Cases - Adult content is highly regulated and may likely be subject to additional reviews or audits in excess of other use cases.
  • Charitable Donation Use Cases - Programs facilitating end-users donations to charitable causes and organizations are supported on some carrier networks.
  • Emergency Notification Use Cases - While emergency notifications are supported on all number types, it is recommended that the campaign undergo certification as applicable per number type.
  • High-Risk Use Cases - High-risk use cases (typically marketing) may not be outright prohibited, but run a high chance of getting blocked or resulting in carrier complaints.
  • Machine to Machine Use Cases - M2M messages are not expected to engage in direct consumer interactions.
  • Political Use Cases - Political campaigns are supported but must run on the correct channel and must adhere to all applicable guidelines, including the Messaging Principles and Best Practices and Political Campaign Messaging Document as well as all carrier codes of conduct.
  • Sweepstakes and Contest Use Cases - Programs that offer a chance to receive a prize.

Unregistered campaigns operating are limited to a throughput of 15 messages per minute. Remember with SMS/MMS each segment is considered to be a message.


We are in the process of creating an automated Prequalification Form along with an Application Form for you to fill out. This will greatly help Agencies and Clients meet these critical requirements.

Schedule a Complimentary SMS/Voice Compliance Consultation

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