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BT/EE changes to SMS send rules for the UK

BT/EE changes to SMS sending rules for the UK

BT/EE have recently announced some changes that they are making in order to reduce fraudulent SMS on their network.

We urge all customers to ensure that all messages that they submit comply with following new code of conduct.

Foreign virtual mobile numbers may not be used as the sender ID.
E.g Message delivery would fail if you used a Spanish reply number as your sender ID.

UK virtual reply numbers and UK short codes will be permitted as the sender ID. Only 5 digits UK short codes, starting with 6,7,8 will be allowed.

Generic sender IDs no longer permitted

The main change that they are making is to the sender ID. They will no longer deliver messages with very generic sender IDs like ALERT, INFO, VERIFY and all variations (e.g V_ERIFY or V3RIFY) 

The following generic sender IDs are not permitted.

2FA Message
Accept Mobile
Access MSG
Active MSG
Alert Network
App Notify
Appointment Order
Approved OTP
Auth Parcel
Aware Pay
Bank Payment
Banking Pin
Call Rebate
Card Receipt
Caution Reminder
Code Reply
Confirm Schedule
Contact Secure
Control Shipping
Delivery SMS
Energy Support
Fraud Text
Help Trace
Info TXT
Loan Update
Login Verify
Logistics Winner

All customers need to check that their sender IDs are specific to their brand and make any changes if necessary.

Supported sender ID characters

The following characters are supported for use as the sender ID.
“A-Z”, “a-z”, “0-9”, “.” (dot), “-“ (dash), “_”
(underscore), “ “ space, “&” (ampersand)

All other special characters are not allowed.


BT/EE will block suspected spam or fraudulent URLs, so please ensure that you format your URLs correctly.

They have offered no guidance on whether the use of URL shorteners is acceptable, so we strongly recommend that customers take the time to test all their URLs that they are using in their texts.


BT/EE will be rolling out their new changes from 10th July 2023, so we urge customers to check their sender IDs and URLs as soon as possible.

It’s likely that other networks will follow the lead of BT/EE in the coming months, so we will keep you updated as we receive further news.

author avatar
Henry Cazalet Managing Director
Co-founder and Director of The SMS Works, a low cost and powerful SMS API for developers. About Henry