Shortcode Regulations

UK Mobile Network Operators provide a range of services behind short codes for their own branded services and those of third party Service Providers. Over the past year, the UK Mobile Network Operators (MNO's) have recognised an increasing demand for the provision of short-codes and notably for the provision of short-codes on a common basis across more than one UK mobile network.

Accordingly, a new Code of Practice for Service delivery of Common short-codes in the UK has been adopted. This Code of Practice is supported by O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and 3.

The common structure will assist Service Providers in securing shortcodes that can operate across multiple mobile networks. In addition, the structure of the codes will convey information to consumers about the price and nature of the service in a way similar to conventional premium rate numbers.

This code of practice does not govern any aspect of commercial service delivery. The provision of shortcode access on any individual mobile network will continue to be subject to the conclusion of a satisfactory bilateral agreement between the Service Provider and the individual MNO in question. It may also be affected by any transitional technical constraints of individual MNO's (as detailed within the Code of Practice).

Where a short code is issued under this scheme, the participating operators agree that the short-code will be used only by the Service Provider to which it has been provided under the rules of the scheme. The only exception shall be codes already in use at the time of the formal commencement of the scheme. Such short-codes will be subject to the transition provisions as outlined in the Code of Practice.

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