The following number types are available:
Numbers can have shared or dedicated ownership. Shared numbers can be configured as smart numbers.
The Numbers section also shows information about channels, for example, if a sender's client has Viber or Messenger.
Depending on your business needs, the different number types can be used on Infobip based on the following:
The choice of number type that you use will depend on your business needs. You should take into account the following factors:
- Channel – Depends on which communication channel you will use with your number. Some numbers can be used for multiple channels at the same time (for example, SMS and Voice), but some can be used for a specific channel only. The available channels are SMS, Voice, and WhatsApp.
- Length – There are short and long numbers, each with its own set of unique abilities. You pick the one that best suits your use case.
- Usability – On the Infobip platform, numbers can be either dedicated or shared. When you buy a dedicated number, it's yours only. Shared numbers can be used by multiple clients at the same time and are usually less costly.
Long Numbers (VLNs)
Virtual long numbers are the basic and most common types used for sending and receiving both SMS messages and voice calls.
These numbers always start with a country code (e.g., 44 for the UK), followed by the area number (74 for Hutchison 3G network), and the actual subscriber number (e.g., 1234567). So, the full number would look like this: 44741234567.
The maximum length of a long number is capped to 15 characters as suggested by the ITU-T E.164 specification. The minimum length has not been specified by ITU-T and it is regulated on a country-by-country basis.
In Infobip, all the numbers containing seven or more characters are considered long numbers.
In general, long numbers are significantly cheaper than short numbers and are easy to obtain.
Short Numbers (SCs)
Short numbers, also called Short Codes, are considered premium numbers because of their attractiveness, price, and acquisition process.
The main difference between short and long numbers is their length. Short numbers do not have a country or network prefix and consist only of a subscriber number. They are commonly three to six characters long. They work for the country and MNO where they have been registered. This means that the UK short number can only send and receive messages from UK subscribers and cannot, for example, receive a message originating from a German number. In certain cases, in specific countries, there could be one Short Code that's assigned to different clients with different MNOs.
The acquisition process for a short number is much more extensive than for a long number. There is a registration process required with the network operators, significant setup, and monthly fees apply.
There are three types of short numbers, based on the price of the message for the the end user:
- Standard numbers – The end user is charged a standard SMS rate when sending a message to the specified short number.
- Premium numbers– The end user is charged more than the standard SMS rate when sending a message to the specified short number.
- Reverse billed numbers – The end user will be NOT be charged when sending a message to the specified short number. That charge will be transferred to the owner of the number.
Simply put, one dedicated number equals one account. All messages received by that number will be automatically associated with that account, regardless of the set keyword. Dedicated numbers are safer and more convenient to use because all the traffic will be directed to you. But, in general, they are also more expensive.
A shared number means that more than one account can use the same number.
There are some restrictions. With a shared number, you have to use a dedicated keyword. Text messages have to contain a dedicated keyword and that's how they are associated with your account. There is no limit to the number of keywords you can set on a shared number, but the rule is „first come, first served.“ If the desired keyword is already in use, you will not be able to use it.
In general, shared numbers are significantly cheaper than dedicated, and in some cases are the only option available. Shared numbers are not available for Voice services.
There are cases where numbers are scarce and very expensive. Then you use SMART Numbers which are a cheaper alternative.
The main advantage of using SMART Numbers is that multiple clients can use the same number resource in multiple campaigns at the same time. Inbound messages are distributed per communication flow using an advanced pairing system. In other words, an inbound message is paired to an outbound message that was sent most recently with the same parameters and is added to the communication flow of the sent message.
SMART numbers require additional configuration. Please contact your dedicated Account Manager to enable and configure SMART Numbers for you. Shared numbers are not available for Voice services.
Each country has very specific country regulations when it comes to two-way coverage. Additionally, even different operators have different regulations and country limitations. For example, certain countries allow only Short Codes, whereas others allow virtual long numbers (VLN).
Some countries have multiple coverage options available. For SMS limitations, refer to the guidelines in SMS Coverage and Connectivity. Contact your dedicated Account Manager or our Sales team for the exact information on coverage, options, and fees.