Terms & Conditions

Business Text Messaging

These Terms of Use (the “Terms of Use”) supplement and shall be incorporated into the Agreement between Alianza and Customer. Capitalized terms not elsewhere defined in these Terms of Use will have the meaning ascribed to them elsewhere in the Agreement.

1.0 Introduction. The Alianza messaging solutions support high-quality, high-integrity communications. Spam or unwanted messaging is forbidden. To protect consumers and the ecosystem from abuse, Alianza enforces guidelines designed to promote best practices for exchange of messages. The viability of the messaging ecosystem is dependent on consumers perception of messaging as a trusted and convenient communication environment. These policies and best practices are intended to preserve the credibility and utility of the ecosystem. The objective of these policies is to enable wanted messages and prevent unwanted or deceptive messages. While these policies and best practices are intended to encourage correct behaviors, the spirit behind them is equally important. Message Senders acting in bad faith to thwart or undermine the spirit of these policies should expect to experience penalties.

2.0 Enforcement. Policy enforcement is performed at several points during message delivery.

  1. Alianza Policy Management systems
  2. Aggregator Policy Management systems (e.g., Bandwidth)
  3. Carrier Policy Management systems (e.g., T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T Wireless)

3.0 Violations. Violations of guidelines may result in on or more of the following resolutions taken by Alianza, aggregators or carriers:

  1. Blocking of individual messages
  2. Blocking of Telephone Numbers
  3. Termination of all network services.

4.0 Definitions. In addition to capitalized terms defined elsewhere in this Agreement, the following capitalized terms shall have the following meanings: 

“Blacklisting” means the temporary or permanent blocking of Telephone Numbers that have sent repeated known SPAM/unwanted content and are subject to automatic blacklisting without notification. Numbers that have been reported by industry partners for SPAM/unwanted content may also be subject to Blacklisting.

“Consumer” means any recipient of any messaging services provided to Alianza.

“Message Sender or Sender” is any Service Provider or Non-Consumer that originates or transmits A2P message traffic.

“Multimedia Message Service” or “MMS” means group messaging and/or the exchange of multimedia content between mobile devices including, video, pictures and audio.

“Non-Consumer Application to Person” or “A2P” means a business, organization, or entity that uses messaging to communicate with Consumers. Examples may include, but are not limited to, large-to-small businesses, financial institutions, schools, medical practices, customer service entities, non-profit organizations, and political campaigns that send messages from an application, typically web based, to a mobile subscriber. Use cases include, but are not limited to, automated chat-bot responses, text IVR capabilities, two factor authentication (2FA), banking alerts, or marketing messages or campaigns.

“Short Message Service” or “SMS” means what is commonly known as “text messaging” and is a service for sending and receiving messages of up to 160 characters to mobile devices. Longer messages will be fragmented into smaller message fragments. Maximum character length per message fragment varies depending on the character set used in the body of the message, whether GSM default alphabet or Unicode.

“Ten Digit Long Code or 10DLC” is the new standard for A2P messaging in the USA, which applies to all messaging over 10 digit geographic phone numbers.

“The Campaign Registry” is the information hub that allows businesses to register 10DLC messaging campaigns.

“Unwanted Messages” means, but is not limited to, unsolicited bulk commercial messages (i.e., Spam); “phishing” messages intended to access private or confidential information through deception; other forms of abusive, harmful, malicious, unlawful, or otherwise inappropriate messages; and messages that require an opt-in but did not obtain such opt-in (or such opt-in was revoked).

5.0 Volume Limitations. 

5.1 Telephone Numbers (8XX/10DLC)

A2P enabled destinations (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.): Access to A2P messaging routes and message throughput will be determined by The Campaign Registry. 

5.2 Product-Specific Settings. 

Product descriptions can be referenced at https://www.alianza.com/legal/product-service-descriptions 

6.0 Global Policies. 

6.1 Consumer Consent. The messaging ecosystem should operate consistent with relevant laws and regulations, such as the TCPA and associated FCC regulations regarding Consumer consent for communications. Regardless of whether these rules apply and to maintain Consumer confidence in messaging services, Non-Consumer (A2P) Message Senders should:

  • Obtain a Consumer’s consent to receive messages generally;
  • Obtain a Consumer’s express written consent to specifically receive marketing messages; and
  • Ensure that Consumers have the ability to revoke consent.
    Consent may vary upon on the type of message content exchanged with a Consumer. The following table provides examples of the types of messaging content and the associated consent that should be expected. The examples below do not constitute or convey legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from qualified counsel. Reference to “business” below is used as an example of a Non-Consumer (A2P) Message Sender. Individual Service Providers may adopt additional Consumer protection measures for Non-Consumer (A2P) Message Senders, which may include, for example, campaign pre-approval, Service Provider vetting, in-market audits, or Unwanted Message filtering practices that are tailored to facilitate the exchange of wanted messaging traffic. 

6.2 Prevention of Unlawful Activities or Deceptive, Fraudulent, Unwanted, or Illicit Content. Message Senders should use reasonable efforts to prevent and combat unwanted or unlawful messaging traffic, including spam and unlawful spoofing. Specifically, Message Senders should take affirmative steps and employ tools that can monitor and prevent Unwanted Messages and content, including for example content that: (1) is unlawful, harmful, abusive, malicious, misleading, harassing, excessively violent, obscene/illicit, or defamatory; (2) deceives or intends to deceive (e.g., phishing messages intended to access private or confidential information); (3) invades privacy; (4) causes safety concerns; (5) incites harm, discrimination, or violence; (6) is intended to intimidate; (7) includes malware; (8) threatens Consumers; or (9) does not meet age-gating requirements. Message Senders can also review the Short Code Monitoring Handbook for further examples of Unwanted Message content. Further, Message Senders should take steps to ensure that marketing content is not misleading and complies with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Truth-In-Advertising rules. 

6.3 Additional Prohibited Practices. 

6.3.1 Snowshoe Messaging. Message Senders should not engage in snowshoe messaging, which is a technique used to spread messages across many sending phone numbers or short codes.

6.3.2 Proxy Numbers. Message Senders might utilize a Telephone Number as a proxy number that functions as a relay point between possibly large sets of phone numbers and/or frequently changing phone numbers in certain wireless messaging use cases. For example, a driver for a ride-sharing service may need to communicate with a prospective passenger to confirm a pick-up location. The proxy Telephone Number functions as a conference call bridge Telephone Number, allowing the driver and passenger to communicate without either party having to reveal their personal Telephone Number. A Telephone Number used as a proxy is typically a means to connect two individuals, but proxy numbers are commonly reused in a way that may create volumes of messaging traffic that exceed typical Consumer operation. Given the use of proxy numbers to facilitate bulk messaging traffic among multiple Telephone Numbers, the proxy number qualifies as Non-Consumer (A2P) messaging traffic and may be subject to additional validation, vetting, and monitoring.

 7.3.3 Spoofing Telephone Numbers. Message number spoofing includes the ability of a Message Sender to cause a message to display an originating number for the message that is not assigned to the Message Sender, or when a Message Sender originates a message through a Service Provider other than the Service Provider to which reply messages will be delivered or received. Message number spoofing should be avoided and should comply with all applicable laws.

7.0 Technical Message Specifications. 

7.1 Message Content Length

  • GSM7 (7 bit) = 160 character maximum. For longer multipart messages, a User Data Header (UDH) is added to the message to instruct the receiving device on how to reassemble the message, resulting in a maximum of 153 characters for the body of the message.
  • Any message segment which has been broken up from a single message due to length will be treated as a single message as will messages to multiple recipients.

 7.2 MMS Specific Policies.

  • Maximum file size: Files over 1Mb are not supported and will be rejected.
  • File types: below is a list of currently supported file types. File types outside of this list are not supported and will be rejected.

File Type

  • image/gif
  • image/jpeg
  • image/jpeg
  • image/png

Extension

  • .gif
  • .jpg
  • .jpeg
  • .png

8.0 Resources. This section includes links to industry resources that may be helpful as a Message Sender starts to craft messaging content. Messages should follow guidance from these resources, otherwise messages may be blocked.