What is the originator or Sender ID for SMS?


When you receive an SMS, your phone tells you where the text message comes from. This information includes the name of a company and the sender’s phone number: the so-called originator.

When someone sends you an SMS, the originator is set to that person’s phone number. But over an API for business SMS, the originator provides an alphanumeric variable that can be set to any 15 digits or 11 characters in the range a-z or A-Z, plus 0-9. This flexibility has become an important feature for enterprises as it enables them to set their brand name as the Sender ID.

The amount of characters available to use as the Sender ID depends on whether it’s a name or a phone number. If you’d like to enter your company name, for example, the originator ID can be up to 11 characters. This is a limit that’s inherent to SMS as a format; tyntec cannot change this standard, unfortunately. There is no official minimum number of characters that you should use, but most phones cannot display one- or two-character originators; therefore, tyntec recommends using between three and 11 characters.

Since alphanumeric Sender IDs are deployed via one-way SMS, recipients cannot respond to these messages. If your phone number is included in the message or if the recipients have saved your contact information, recipients would be able to respond, but this would be a separate communications thread.

With tyntec, you can freely define the Sender ID as alphanumeric, numeric or shortcode by default, but there are local restrictions. Some markets, such as North America or Brazil, the Sender ID cannot be changed. In some other destinations, only certain senders are allowed (i.e. only alpha senders, or international numerics), so senders who do not comply with local regulations may be overwritten, either by the operator or by tyntec, to ensure the message is delivered.

On tyntec’s end, the Sender ID replacement is a feature that allows you to replace the original sender ID with a random numeric one. This is particularly useful to overcome certain Sender ID restrictions in different countries.

To activate this feature for your SMS delivery, please contact support@tyntec.com.