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MobileConnect guide for India for sending SMS

Read the MobileConnect Guidelines and Restrictions for Sending SMS Messages in India. The information provided does not constitute legal advice and is not intended as such. Rather, all information is for general informational purposes only. Customers should consult their own independent legal advisor to understand their MobileConnect use cases and applicable legal and industry requirements.

General guidelines and deliverability

India is the second largest cellular market in the world. Messaging growth continues to accelerate as rural areas in India get cellular coverage for the first time. About 60% of the population continue to use feature phones (not smartphones).

ISO 3166 country codeIN
International area code404
Main provider
  • Vodafone Idea Limited
  • Airtel
  • Jio
  • BSNL
  • MTNL
Sender name supportYes: required
Unicode supportNo
International area code supportYes
Local partner required for deliveryYes
Maximum message length160 characters
Chaining supportYes: Must be specified when placing the order.
Private / Dedicated Short CodeApproved short codeInternational long codeLocal long codealphaAlpha pre-registration required
Supported by Marketing CloudNoNoYes: Alpha code requiredNoNoYes: If local, TRAI registration is required.
2-way supportNoNoNo
Provision time1 week*Local registration = subject to carrier registration and approval periods as part of the TRAI and DLT framework. International registration = no additional time.
priceLevel 1 = long code (UK)


Comparison between domestic and international codes and traffic

A local enterprise is any company that pays local taxes and has a local business license and physical presence in India. All non-local businesses are considered international. International business SMS traffic is routed through an international service called the ILDO route (International Not Locally Registered Route).

Our gateway partner routes through local partners with international and local routing to ensure that regulations are adhered to. If the brand name is registered in Data Ledger Technology (DLT) and is permitted for domestic routes, data traffic will be routed via domestic routes. All other data traffic must go through the international ILDO routing.

Guidelines for providing SMS codes


Customers without a local presence or without registration can send items to India via the international connection. However, this connection does not support custom FromName or DND scrubbing. It is also more expensive. International service is the standard route.

  • The ILDO data traffic is intended for all international companies that communicate with their customer base in India.
  • International traffic must use numeric sender IDs for marketing and transactional traffic. All senders are overwritten by random short codes.
  • There are currently no curfew or time restrictions for sending SMS. However, customers need to watch out for changes.

Local Business and Local Traffic: Required Local Registration

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is working with Indian carriers to introduce a new security system known as DLT to combat fraudulent and unsolicited SMS messages. Therefore, customers with a local presence in India need to register their business and SMS programs to maintain service continuity and avoid disruptions. Customers must complete the registration process before Salesforce Marketing Cloud can set them up to send them using their pre-approved sender names, headers, numeric sender IDs, and SMS message content. All Enterprises with a legal entity in India wishing to send to India must register. If this does not happen, the carrier will be blocked.

Customers must complete the following steps for existing and new SMS programs:

  1. Portal registration: With one of the carriers listed below, the process takes 20 minutes. A small, one-time fee is charged for setting up the portal. You should expect the portal registration to take up to 72 hours to complete.

    Carrier portals: It is strongly recommended to use the Vodafone portal as our partner works more closely with this carrier. After registering with Vodafone, you can activate your program in all other portals.

    Documentation and other information required for registration:

    • PAN card.
    • GST certificate.
    • Deed of incorporation.
    • TAN certificate.
    • Registration certificate for the import / export of FSSAI licenses.
    • A one-time registration fee of INR 5,000 ($ 70.67, approximately EUR 62.21).
    • Choosing a telemarketing ID is optional.
    • Enterprise registration approval takes approximately three business days to complete.
    • Once approved, you will be given a unique account ID number. Save this account number!
    • Watch the how-to video on enterprise registration.
  2. Program registration: Once approved, the user can log in as an enterprise user (not telemarketing) and provide program details.
    • Headers: All 6-digit headers and sender names need to be re-registered and new ones added for transactional and promotional messaging. Watch the header registration instruction video.
    • Content templates: Message templates and the message type (transactional, advertising) need to be registered and the new ones need to be added. In addition, the opt-in path for marketing SMS must be specified when registering the consent. This path can be done via web, SMS or application. Watch the tutorial video on content template registration.
  3. Program activation: The Enterprise must register on the other portals, enter its unique ID and activate "Sender names" (headers). The Enterprise must also activate and then transfer previous messaging information. For example, if an enterprise registers on the Vodafone portal, the enterprise must complete and activate its account for BSNL, MTNL, Airtel and Videocon.
  4. Confirmation of program registration: Customers must notify their Salesforce Marketing Cloud account manager of the headers and sender IDs for transactional and promotional SMS that have been approved and registered. In addition, customers must provide the following information:
    • Name of the unit: exact information according to the registration in the carrier portal.
    • exact details of the sender IDs according to the registration in the carrier portal.
      1. Must consist of exactly six numeric characters or letters.
      2. Special characters and symbols are not permitted.
      3. General sender IDs are not allowed. Rather, they need to relate to the brand or company name whenever possible.
      4. Only one sender ID per category is permitted per DLT platform regulation.
    • Content categories:
      • Transactional: Only banks with one-time passwords are allowed to send transactional messages. The sender ID must consist of six letters. For example ABCDEF, BANKIC. "763892 is the one-time password for the INR 9,876.90 transaction when using the ABCD with your XX0000 card. The one-time password is valid for 10 minutes. Do not give it to anyone."
      • Advertising: The sender ID must consist of six numeric digits. For example 123456, 787878. "Good mood sales on December 21st and 22nd. Up to 70% discount on over 100 brands. Register and receive an extra discount for up to 100 / - brands. Missed call to 80XXXX12XX. TnC"
      • Service (express consent required): Service-oriented messages for your own existing customers or with the consent of any mobile subscriber. The sender ID must consist of six letters. For example NUTKUI, DLTDLT. "Dear customer, Congratulations on your anniversary at home" Now available a top offer up to Rs 50 Lacs * with an ROI of @ 9.20% * on your mortgage. Call toll free at 1800XXXX800 * T & C "
      • Service (implicit consent): Service-oriented messages for your own existing customers or with the consent of any mobile subscriber. The sender ID must consist of six letters. For example AFIOMA (or) UNFOCO "Dear customer, your order has been picked up by the delivery person and is on its way. Your delicious pizza will arrive on time!"

Delivery ID and Sender ID rules and best practices

Domestic transactions

  • Domestic transactional traffic is intended for local businesses to send alerts and notifications to their existing customer base.
  • Cellular operators add a two-letter prefix to the sender ID.
  • No blocking of recipients who have unsubscribed via the national customer preference register.
  • No time restrictions or curfew hours for sending SMS.
  • General alpha sender IDs are not allowed. Carriers block messages with common alpha sender IDs.

According to the TRAI regulations, SMS messages of the transactional category are as follows:

  • Messages sent by banks and financial institutions relating to a transaction on the customer's account.
  • Messages sent by railways and airlines, including confirmations, passenger name records, or transaction details.
  • Messages sent by schools and educational institutions to the community or parents regarding the notification and activity of the school or institution.
  • Messages sent by the state and central government of India to its ministries or corporations.
  • Messages sent by Direct To Home satellite provider companies (DTH) to their customers for services or payments.
  • Messages sent by a company or institution to its customers regarding the delivery of goods or services.
  • Messages sent by e-commerce companies regarding delivery or transactions.

Domestic promotional SMS

  • Intended for promotional SMS.
  • To ensure delivery, the content must be registered.
  • Marketing messages must be sent with an exactly 6-digit numeric sender ID.
  • While it is possible to send marketing messages to logged-in users using your Alpha Sender ID, this approach is strongly discouraged due to the risk of NDNC complaints. It is better to send marketing messages using the expected numeric Sender ID format, as messages using this format will be automatically blocked from delivery to any number on the NCPR list.
  • Data traffic is blocked for subscribers who have logged out via the NCPR.

Provide Salesforce with details of expected message volume as part of the delivery process. All carriers want to know the expected volume of traffic for each code they serve. If you do not provide this information, you can expect significant delivery delays.

Regulations and Best Practices

With the NCPR, subscribers can opt out of all or a few categories of promotional SMS. This registration is only applied to local traffic, but does not affect the ILDO routes for international traffic.

Domestic Transactional Communications

  • A current business relationship with an end user requires sending transactional communications.
  • It's a good idea to include a phone number or URL in the customer support message.

Domestic Marketing Messages

Customers are responsible for obtaining all consents from an end user and maintaining proper consent in accordance with applicable law. The opt-in for marketing messages is only valid for 6 months. A user must specifically opt-in again to continue participating after the initial 6-month period and subsequent opt-in periods. Promotional messages can only be sent from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm local time (GMT + 5:30 am). During the times when sending is not allowed, all messages are saved and delivered the next day.

  • A current business relationship does not authorize the sending of marketing messages.
  • Separate and explicit consent is required to send marketing messages.
  • The end user must explicitly consent to receive marketing messages.
  • The terms of the marketing campaign must be explicitly communicated to the user before signing up for it.
  • Maintain opt-in evidence in the event that an NCPR complaint is registered by an end user.
  • It's a good idea to include a phone number or URL in the customer support message.
  • The message must include free options to opt out of the campaign. For example, include a URL or a toll-free support number.
  • Marketing messages cannot be sent to users listed in the NCPR.
  • A reminder message with opt-out information must be sent to a user at least once a month.

Regulations for the operator prefix

When terminating domestic / local SMS in India, a prefix is ​​added to the sender ID of the SMS. This prefix indicates from which SMSC of the network the message was transmitted to the mobile device. This convention corresponds to the TRAI regulations and guidelines. The format of the sender ID is as follows: XY-ABCDEF.

The first prefix character confirms the operator.

Aircel, Dishnet WirelessD.
BPL Mobile / Loop TelecomL.
Vodafone (IDEA)I.
Reliance Communications (JIO)R.
Reliance TelecomE.
Tata TeleservicesT
VideoconH, Q

The second character stands for the network.

Himachal PradeshI.
Jammu and KashmirJ
Madhya PradeshY
Tamil NaduT
Uttar Pradesh (East)W.
Uttar Pradesh (West) - West BengalV.

Prohibited content

Messages with the following content are prohibited:

  • Content that is harmful to minors or is sexual
  • Political content
  • Gambling content
  • Religious content

Best practice and compliance reference

1 The lead times listed are estimates based on our knowledge of current market conditions. Carriers do not provide fixed lead times. You should expect delays due to public holidays and embargo periods on the carrier network, which vary by county and carrier, and the workload of the carrier's deployment teams.