What is a Common Short Code Administrator (CSCA)?

When you want your own short code, these are the guys you have to pay. Which begs the question, what is a Common Short Code?

Common Short Codes, or CSCs, are short strings of numbers that are used to send wireless messages on behalf of businesses, entertainment, government, and academia. These short codes are administered by a single CSC Administrator, or CSCA, on behalf of a group of U.S. wireless carriers. That administrator is the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), an international non-profit membership organization that represents wireless carriers, suppliers, and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. In addition, the CSCA oversees the technical and operational aspects of CSC functions and maintains a single database of available, reserved, and registered CSCs.

An end user, which is a person and/or entity, utilizes short codes to send out a communication through a carrier, or phone service provider. The carrier provides the network infrastructure for the delivery of those messages between end users and application providers. Application providers, such as CallFire, provide the technology platform for CSC service applications.

These short codes can be used as a marketing tool or as an emergency notification mechanism. An example of the latter are successfully used in academia, commerce, and government by notifying opt-in participants – cell phone customers who accept notifications – by sending administrator-generated message to alert people of an emergency or dangerous situation.