United Kingdom Mobile Billing and Messaging Overview


Billing Type: MT

Subscriptions: Yes   Network approval required for subs over £4.50.

Micropayments: Yes

Shared Price Points: £0.25, £0.50, £1.00, £1.50, £3.00, £5.00, £10.00.

Dedicated Price Points: Freetext, £0.06, £0.12, £0.15, £0.18, £0.20, £0.25, £0.35, £0.50, £0.60, £0.75, £1.00, £1.50, £2.00, £2.50, £3.00, £3.50, £4.00, £4.50, £5.00, £10.00

Standard rate Price Points: These are available between £0.10 & £0.12

Regulator: Phone-paid Services Authority

Approvals/Fees Required: Yes   Phone-paid Services Authority registration is required for all services.

Country Info

Population: 65,511,000

Subscribers: 89,900,000

Mobile Penetration Rate: 81.3%

Average Individual Income: £27,195

VAT Rate: 20%

Withholding Tax: N/A

Network Information:

Carriers: Subscribers: Market Shares: (If MVNO, using:)
EverythingEverywhere 29,700,000 35.65%
25,300,000 26.38%
Vodafone 17,600,000 18.62%
3 12,010,000 7.69%
Tesco Mobile 3,325,000 3.60%
Virgin Mobile 3,029,400 3.29% EverythingEverywhere
Lebara Mobile 2,791,500 3.03% Vodafone
Lycamobile 1,496,600 1.63% O²/Orange
giffgaff 100,000 0.11%


Regulation Overview

Regulator: Phone-paid Services Authority

Regulator Website: https://psauthority.org.uk

Code of Conduct: Phone-paid Services Authority Code of Practice

Regulatory Levy: 0.48% plus VAT

Registration is required for all members in the value chain, registration is currently set at £155+ VAT per year. Exceptions for certain services apply.

Opt-in Possibilities

Web (PIN) Opt-in: Yes   Available via Payforit.

WORAR (Requiring a Reply): No   Online services must use Payforit.

Single MO Shortcode Opt-in: Yes   For offline, TV, radio campaigns only.

In-app Billing: Yes

Multi-billing - Are you able to send multiple MOs?: Yes

Multi-billing - Are you able to send multiple MTs?: No

Notes: For EE users - Effective 1st February 2015, multi-billing will no longer be allowed. Providers must only send consumers 1 single SMS MT at the appropriate tariff (for example: 1 x £3 SMS MT). Services which are charged at £10 and above, multi-billing may be implemented in multiples of £5.

Permitted Content

General Content Restrictions: Permitted Service Types:
Gambling services are allowed on our shared codes providing it is run on an adult code, you have a valid Gambling license and you are in line with the Gambling Commission's Regulations.

Phone-paid Services Authority have a variety of service specific regulations that must be adhered to, e.g. specific regulations for children's services, operator chat services, dating services, etc, some of which would require you to seek specific advice if you sought to run them - https://psauthority.org.uk/for-business/code-guidance-and-compliance

Adult Permissible: Yes   Payforit only for services available online.

Mobile Gambling /mCasino (Real money): Yes   Gambling licence required. PSA Special Conditions apply.

Sportsbook (Real money): No

Virtual Gambling (Virtual credit): Yes

Lottery (Real money): Yes   Gambling licence needed

Competitions: Yes   In the case of competitions, providers must ensure that there is an element of skill attached to the entry mechanism. Payforit required for online competitions.

Voting: Yes

Chat: Yes   Sessions allowed, standard 1 week. Price point for chat: any, typical are 50p,£1 and £1.50,regulatory reminders every £10.22 , Advice: http://psauthority.org.uk/-/media/Files/PSA/For-Businesses/Guidance-and-compliance/Explore-our-guidance/Guidance-files/20_Virtual-chat-services.ashx?la=en

Mobile Content: Yes

Info Messages: Yes

Alerts: Yes

Physical Goods: Yes   Ticketing only.

Calling Services: Yes   Available on request with a dedicated code.

Charitable Services: Yes   Please see notes below.

Notes: In order to launch a charitable service, you'll need:
- Charity Name
- Registered Charity Number
- HMRC number (if applicable)
- Customer care email and telephone number
- An email/letter from the charity indicating that txtNation can act on their behalf for donations.

For more information please review the Charity text website: http://www.charitytext.org/

Message Flow

Language: English

Double Opt-in: Required for WORAR: (Max 160 characters)
FreeMsg: To subscribe to [name of service and optional description] for £[sign-up cost] and [cost of service in £] per [billing frequency - message received/time] and confirm that you are over 18 yrs, text [keyword] to Short Code XXXXX

Welcome: Max 160 characters:
FreeMsg: Welcome to (service name). This subscription service costs £ (insert cost per week or message price and frequency). To cancel send "STOP" to {shortcode}. Help? {Insert your customer service number}

Billing: Include the service name along with the content.

Reminder: This should be sent every month or every £20 spent whichever comes first. (Max 160 characters)
FreeMsg: Reminder. You are subscribed to {service name}. This subscription service costs (insert cost per week or message price and frequency). To cancel send the word "STOP" to {shortcode}. Help?{Insert your customer service number}

Chat services require a reminder to be sent every £10.22 (inc VAT) that is spent.

Stop: Unsubscribe Confirmation Message
FreeMsg: You are now unsubscribed from {name of service}. Helpline {no more than national rate phone number}

Spend Limits

Maximum Transactional Value: £30.00   Per short code per day (One user can spend £30 per day on your service). Excludes Orange & Vodafone.

Subscriptions Limit: £4.50 per week   EE approval is required for subscription services over £5 per week.

Daily Billing Limit: £30   Per short code per day (One user can spend £30 per day on your service). Excludes Orange & Vodafone.

Weekly Billing Limit: £210 (derived from Daily limit).

Monthly Billing Limit: £50 for Vodafone users.

Customer Care

Minimum Type Required: Local Call-Centre   Answer phone required when not available.

Promotions/Message Language: English

Miscellaneous Items

Mandatory Keywords: STOP, STOP ALL   All services must be terminated upon receipt of STOP or STOP ALL

Retry Rules (if any):


Available Technologies

Premium MO SMS: Yes

Premium MT SMS: Yes

WAP Billing: Yes   Payforit (MSISDN Forwarding).

Direct Operator Billing: Yes

MSISDN Forwarding: Yes   Payment screen, All networks, DOB MSISDN part of PFI. Charge to Mobile - O², Vodafone (no payment screen)

IVR Billing: Yes

Number Lookup (HLR): Yes   Not reliable due to Vodafone restricting HLR on their network.

Number Lookup (VLR) /(RTLU): Yes

VSIM/Longcode: Yes

Bulk SMS: Yes

Push Messaging: Yes

USSD Messaging: Yes   Cable & Wireless, Orange, T-Mobile, Fixed Line, 3, Lycamobile, MCom, O², PMN. Vodafone not reliable, due to them not having their own USSD commercial product.

USSD Menus (Sessions): Yes   Cable & Wireless, Orange, T-Mobile, Fixed Line, 3, Lycamobile, MCom, O², PMN. Vodafone not reliable, due to them not having their own USSD commercial product.

Sessions: Yes, on both Adult and Non-Adult


Premium Shortcodes: Must be within pre-defined number ranges.   Available codes can be viewed at www.short-codes.com

Non-Premium Shortcodes: Must be within pre-defined number ranges.

Adult Shortcodes: Must begin with either 69, 79 or 89.   Must remain within the pre-defined number ranges.

FreeText Shortcodes: Yes

Golden/Vanity Numbers Available?: Yes   Available codes can be viewed at www.short-codes.com

Charity Shortcodes: Yes   Must remain within the 70000 to 70999 range.

Notes: Voice short codes:
How do we set one up technically, do we just point it to a non-geographic number?
txtNation host the short code on your behalf and point the voice sessions to a destination point, which is where the voice call is terminated.

Can we port voice short codes?
Yes, this is possible in the same way as SMS.

Can we pick the voice shortcode numbers?
Yes, this is possible in the same way as for SMS.

Can you do both SMS and voice on the same number?
Yes, we can. It is also possible to specify different price points for the Voice tariff compared to the SMS MO and MTs.

Direct Carrier Billing

DCB Type: PIN/MO Based Window, MSISDN Forward Window   Payforit

Window based?: Yes

Window customisable/brandable?: Yes

MO required?: Yes   PIN or an MO required

MT Required?: No

Flexible price points: No. Pre-defined price points.
£0.25, £0.50, £0.75, £1.00, £1.50, £2.00, £2.50, £3.00, £3.50, £4.00, £4.50, £5.00, £10.00   Other price points available on request. Please note that your service must receive specific approval for any price point over £10.00 (maximum: £30.00).

Supported networks: O2, Vodafone, Three, EE, Virgin

Receipt required?: Yes

MSISDN forwarding?: Yes   Used for PFI one-click billing.

Bulk Messaging

Alpha sender ID: Yes

Numeric sender ID: Yes

Alpha numeric sender ID: Yes

Shortcode sender ID: Yes

Sender IDs filtered: No

Handset Delivery reports: Yes

SMSC Delivery report: No

Binary: Yes

Concatenated Messages: Yes

Character Encoding: Yes   Full SMPP v3.4

Character Sets Supported: Yes   0×00(Default GSM encoding), 0×01(US-ASCII), 0×02(Binary), 0×03(ISO8859-1-Latin-1), 0×04(Binary), 0×08(UCS2/UTF-16BE)

Submit_multi: Yes

Maximum validity periods: 48 hours   Which is the recommended value

Traffic type exclusions?: No exclusions other than no illegal services or content

Notes: These are subject to change.