A Short Codes is a special number, shorter than full telephone/mobile number used to access specified services from Mobile or Fixed telecommunication network. Short codes are easier to remember and easier to type than using the entire telephone number.
There are two types of Short Codes offered by POTRAZ.
1) System Access Short Codes
System Access Short Codes can be used via SMS, MMS, USSD or dialing. They are 3 digits and dedicated to each operator. Examples of uses of System Short Codes are:
- Help desk enquiry Code
- Airtime Recharge Code
- Balance Enquiry Code
- USSD Mobile banking
- Emergency services
System Access Short codes are unique to each operator and may not be used to access services offered in another network
2) Premium Rated Short Codes
POTRAZ has adopted 5 digits for premium rated short codes. These short codes are shared by operators and customers.
A single premium rate short code for a single service shall be used across all networks. Premium Rate Short Codes are billed at a higher rate than System Access Short Codes or USSD short codes. Premium Rated Short Codes are widely used for Value-Added Services (VAS) such as:
- television program voting,
- ordering ringtones,
- charity donations
Application and Allocation of Short Codes
POTRAZ is mandated by the Postal and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05] to manage National Number Resources and the allocation of short codes. Short Codes are allocated to licenced Network Operators who are accountable to the Authority. Customers who wish to use Short codes are required to approach the network operators and agree on terms and conditions pertaining to the use of short code.
1) Prior to allowing any Network Operator to offer value added services using short codes over its network, the Network Operators shall ensure that the Value Added Network Operator has signed an Agreement with the Network Operator(s).
The agreement should include:
- Commercial (sharing of revenue),
- Technical issues
- Purpose of Short Code required
- Preferred short code(s)
- Dates by which the allocation is required
- Date service is planned to be operation
2) The Network Operator shall apply for the short code(s) from the Authority and file the signed Agreement prior to the commencement of the provision of Value Added Services to the public by the Value Added Service Provider.
3) The Network operator shall use the standard Number Application Form obtained from the Authority.
Costs for Short Codes (excl. VAT)
System Access (USSD) Short Codes - USD50 per annum (before 15 % VAT)
Premium Rated Short Code – USD1200 per annum (before 15 % VAT)