The Philippines is a growing SMS market, but one that has many problems associated with message delivery. Carriers have implemented spam filters to prevent A2P traffic reaching their network via international SS7 routes, and a large amount of messages on these cheaper routes are being blocked. Spam filters often return fake delivery receipts and do not discriminate between spam and legitimate traffic.
Due to the prevalence of recent smishing attacks in the Philippines, Smart is now blocking SMS messages which contain some URL shorteners such as bit.ly. This affects SMS to Smart, Sun and Dito, as well as ported numbers to Globe.
As such, we highly recommend you to remove short links and replace them with the full destination URL.
Blocking of Generic Sender IDs Towards Philippines
For sending SMS in the Philippines, you must use your own brand name. Register your brand Sender IDs by contacting your account manager or submitting a support request. Telcos have implemented blocking of transactions from common generic Sender IDs that have been frequently used for phishing SMS. Therefore, you must register your own brand Sender ID to ensure smooth delivery. The following generic Sender IDs are blocked:
It is mandatory to register your own brand alphanumeric Sender IDs through Vonage by contacting your account manager or by submitting a support request. A completed LOA (Letter of Authorization) is required for every Sender ID registration request in the Philippines.
In some cases, Sender IDs are overwritten to a random generic sender to ensure delivery on a best effort basis. Any messages that are detected to carry brands that are recognized as premium or generic senders will be penalized and charged a higher rate. Brand names containing operator names are prohibited.
Sender ID Limitations
- Must be 3-11 alphanumeric characters.
- Numeric Sender IDs are not allowed.
- Sender IDs containing the words TEST, MESSAGE, and SMS, along with all of its permutations (e.g., TESTING, TEST123, ABCTEST, MSG, SMS, INFO, etc.) are not allowed.
- Alphanumeric Sender IDs containing more than 5 numeric characters are not allowed.
- Sender IDs that portray Philippines networks SMART, SUN, or GLOBE, along with all their permutations (e.g., SMARTMONEY, SUNCELL, SMARTLIVE, SMARTLOAD, etc.) are not allowed.
- Sender IDs containing special characters except for dash (-), dot (.), and underscore (_) are not allowed.
SMS phishing attempts have caused carriers to be cautious. As such, Vonage has taken steps to ensure suspicious URLs in SMS content are masked to protect Smart and Globe subscribers. You may request URLs to be whitelisted to ensure they are not masked.
There are a number of restrictions concerning supported characters. The officially supported ones are:
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz % & ' ( ) * + - . / : ; ! " # < = > ? $ @ 0123456789
The following types of traffic are not allowed, and are considered spam.
- Adult Content: Any advertisement promoting nudity, profanity, violence.
- Alcohol: Any advertisement promoting alcohol.
- Drugs: Any advertisement promoting the use of drugs and other illegal substances.
- Gambling: Any advertisement promoting gambling.
- Election: Any advertisement promoting a candidate for elections.
- Tobacco: Any advertisement promoting the use of tobacco.
Commercial and promotional advertisement, surveys, and other broadcast or push messages shall be sent only to subscribers who have prior consent or have specifically opted-in to receive messages.
Unicode is supported on all Philippines network.
Concatenated messages with a maximum of three parts are supported.
Other Features or Restrictions
Delivery receipts are only network-based DLR and are therefore not reliable. Quality conclusion based on DLR ratio is inaccurate.
For more information, see the following articles: