VLN (Virtual Long Number)
A Virtual Long Number (VLN) is a typical mobile number provided by mobile operators, consisting of 12 digits (eg. 442312345678).
They work on a country level but also work internationally and in roaming (unlike Short Code numbers), allowing businesses and institutions to build SMS interactions with end users over the SMS channel.
Also, when compared to Short Codes, VLN's are considered both less expensive and time consuming in their setup but unfortunately do not allow premium messaging services. If used internationally, higher rates may apply when sending SMS messages to the virtual long number. When used nationally, the national SMS rates apply.
Messages texted to a virtual long number can be received by different kinds of applications, and can serve as triggers for further user actions.
Virtual Long Numbers can be leased from MNOs or through messaging specialists; the latter will often provide additional supporting services and consultancy. VLNs are used in interactive SMS campaigns, TV and radio voting, SMS sweepstakes etc.