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What is an SMS Shortcode?

SMS shortcode is a 5-digit number to which an SMS text message can be sent. Shortcodes are often used by businesses for 2-way SMS communication. Businesses allow customers to opt-in to their SMS campaigns, alert services, or enter SMS competitions. Uwazii MOBILE offers shared and dedicated shortcode solution

Dedicated shortcode: This shortcode is provisioned to a specific company or organization to enable the running of multiple campaigns or services. Any alphanumeric message sent to a dedicated shortcode will be received by the Uwazii MOBILE customer to whom the shortcode is allocated. This shortcode can either be premium rated or a regular shortcode.

Shared shortcode: A shortcode that is pooled between multiple businesses or organizations. This means that two or more companies may share the same shortcode, but have different keywords. Each Uwazii MOBILE customer has a unique keyword that is sent to the shortcode. If for example, you have chosen the keyword “Land” on 20475, all messages coming in with the keyword “Land” will come in to your Uwazii MOBILE inbox.

Premium Rate Shortcode

Premium rated shortcodes enable you to operate a service where your customers pay to send – (on-demand) an SMS to a shortcode or receive (subscription) an SMS from a shortcode. The cellular networks acquire the payments and through a revenue share model some amount is thereoff paid our to you from Uwazii MOBILE.

Shortcodes are useful when you have information to sell. Once the incoming payment SMS is received, a reply SMS containing the information, or a weblink to the information, or an entry code to a website containing the information can be sent back to your customer.

Premium Rated Shortcode services are supplied by Uwazii MOBILE either on a dedicated shortcode basis, or on a keyword basis where a single shortcode is shared by multiple users each with their own keyword.

Dedicated shortcodes would typically be used by customers wanting to run multiple services of their own, each with a different keyword. There is no limit to the number of keywords that can be used on a dedicated shortcode number.

Shortcode Usage

An example of a premium rate shortcode service is that of one provided by M-Lesson where you send an SMS with the keyword “Learn” to the shortcode 20475 (SMS charged at KES 3/SMS) for the mobile based learning content for primary school pupils. The pupil then receives an automatic response via SMS containing asking for more details about the pupil such as the subject of interest and their grade level.

Shortcode Costs

SMS shortcode services are sold in two ways. Both shared and dedicated shortcodes can have an incoming capacity of up to 10,000 SMSes per second. They both can also be used as a standard rate shortcode which does NOT generate revenue or as a premium rated shortcode.

To get started, fill in and submit an online application. Please note that you will need to register for a Bulk SMS account if you have not already done so.