Skip to main content
Toll-Free SMS

Toll-Free SMS

Deliver better digital experiences with the number one volume provider of toll-free SMS + MMS across the industry.

Request trial Talk to an Expert

toll free sms hero image of chat bubbles

Get built-for-business messaging using your existing toll-free numbers

Leverage existing toll-free numbers to create better customer experiences with the power of Bandwidth’s Messaging API.

Move between voice and text icon.

Move between text & voice on the same number

Increasingly, your customers want to communicate with your business over text. But sometimes that’s not enough. With toll-free texting you can easily escalate from text to voice using the same number.

Verify and start sending from Toll-Free Numbers quickly icon

Verify and start sending from Toll-Free Numbers quickly

Manual is great for sports cars but not so great for toll-free verification. Verify your Toll-Free numbers with Bandwidth’s API and get real-time status updates, including reason codes for any denials. Once your request is “pending” you can start sending traffic immediately.

toll-free sms existing toll-free numbers icon

Use your existing toll-free number

Don’t get a new number, use the one you already have! Text-enable your existing toll-free number and eliminate confusion for your customers or having to manage a separate number for messaging.

Powerful alternative

A powerful alternative to short codes

It can take weeks to get a short code and start sending messages. With toll-free SMS you can be sending messages in days, connecting with your customers faster than ever.

Reach more customers with toll-free messaging

Supercharge your messaging and verification with the number one volume sending Toll-Free SMS + MMS API.

  • High volume support over toll-free numbers
  • SMS & MMS - videos, gifs, pictures, and more
  • Verify Toll-Free numbers via API and get status updates
  • Use your existing toll-free numbers
  • Real-time handset delivery
  • Bi-directional unicode and emojis
  • Redundant nationwide network
  • 100+ MPS capabilities
  • Power to escalate to voice

Industry education

Toll-free SMS enables you to use your existing numbers to create a better, more customer-centric texting experience.

Bandwidth support staff
require ‘bandwidth’

include Bandwidth
include Bandwidth::Messaging

bandwidth_client =
    messaging_basic_auth_user_name: ‘username’,
    messaging_basic_auth_password: ‘password’

messaging_client = bandwidth_client.messaging_client.client

account_id = ‘1’
body =
body.application_id = ‘1-2-3’ = [‘+17777777777’]
body.from = ‘+18888888888’
body.text = ‘Hello from Bandwidth’ = [“”]

messaging_client.create_message(account_id, :body => body)

Sending messages with our Toll-Free SMS API is easy.
Check out our developer docs to learn more.

A network built for developers

Most text messaging platforms rent network space from carriers. Bandwidth is different. We have our own redundant, nationwide, Feature Group D network to power our toll-free. It enables us to give you deeper insights, reliable delivery, and direct-to-carrier pricing.

Bandwidth support staff

A better approach to support

We take a unique approach to support—we focus on making sure our customers are successful. We have a dedicated support team made up of industry vets with the knowledge and experience to tackle the most demanding telecom situations, and tools and processes to ensure customer success and satisfaction. You’ll wonder why everyone doesn’t have the same approach.

  • Dedicated support to help you every step of the way
  • Assigned single point of contact with all products
  • 24/7 proactive Network Operations Center (NOC)
  • 98% CSAT delivering Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
  • Expert business development managers to help navigate your changing needs
  • Dedicated team of porting experts for an easy migration experience

A better experience for you and your customers

Request trial Talk to an Expert

Frequently asked questions

Who uses Toll-Free SMS?

Many businesses utilize toll-free SMS in order to send and receive high volume SMS messages to their customers, without all the extra carrier surcharges, with information like:

  • Shipping notifications: Notifications from retail factories about your purchase, like: still in production/packaging, has shipped, or been delivered.
  • Appointment reminders: Doctors offices sending you confirmation or appointment reminders about your upcoming visit.
  • Service updates: Maintenance workers sending you any updates, including what time an employee will be at your house, the status of the work order if unfinished and some options on times to come back, or a completion update.
  • School/Office alerts: School, universities, offices sending out weather advisories, emergency situations, important technology “down-time” alerts.

Toll-free SMS works best when your use case involves personalized messaging; meaning both the sender and the recipient are having a conversation via text message. Since consumers prefer to communicate through text messaging instead of taking the time to make a call, (especially if they think they’ll have to sit on hold or hunt through menus), text messaging helps businesses pave the way for a better customer/user experience. By maintaining a more personalized relationship with customers and providing a chance for them to respond back with any questions or concerns, Toll-free SMS is a scalable “easy button” for businesses to leverage text messaging today, on a number they probably already pay for.

How much does Toll-Free SMS cost?

Toll-free numbers vary in price depending on country location and service providers. In the United States, toll-free numbers are very reasonable, and start at around $1 to a few dollars per number.

Toll-free SMS is priced per message sent and/or received. At Bandwidth, toll-free SMS message pricing starts at $.0065 per message for both inbound and outbound messaging. Customers are billed monthly for messages sent and received by the business, and a small fee for the toll-free number itself.

Where can I get Toll-Free SMS?

Businesses looking to get started sending toll-free SMS can get started in a variety of ways depending on what technology tools you may need along the way. Bandwidth’s API-driven platform lets you get started developing applications or software platforms with toll-free messaging in just minutes. Businesses may also enable any existing toll-free numbers they have for texting with Bandwidth and use them to send critical alerts and notifications to their customers via SMS. This allows for a more personalized touch, since they are utilizing the same number their customers already know to call.

Toll-free verification will be required as of September 30, 2022, and can take up to 3-5 days.

Can I get Toll-Free SMS with a different provider than my voice provider?

Yes! If you already have a toll-free number that you are using for your contact center or sales line, it’s easy to enable your number for texting using Bandwidth’s Hosted Messaging feature so you won’t have to ride out an existing voice contract.

What do consumers need to know about Toll-Free SMS?

Toll-free SMS is still somewhat new for businesses, and it’s a great feature for businesses looking to communicate with their customers. Just like toll-free numbers are the expected business phone number for voice, toll-free is quickly becoming the expected and preferred business phone number for messaging. Studies show that the average consumer prefers to be communicated with via text, so toll-free messaging is becoming an increasingly important customer success and sales tool.

If your SMS feature is for customer support or sales, toll-free is a fantastic option for you because it allows customers to call your business back on the same phone number you are texting from. However, because toll-free numbers can support a higher throughput of messages per phone number than traditional ten-digit numbers, some developers choose to use toll-free numbers for one-way communications like alerts and notifications. Choosing toll-free also makes responding to those notifications possible.

The messaging revolution also plays a vital role in why toll-free is becoming a preferred style of messaging for businesses. Shared short codes were popular for a time, but are being eliminated due to spam concerns, so now only dedicated short codes are accepted in the industry. If you’re moving away from short codes, Toll-free SMS is the smartest way forward.

What is the difference between Toll-Free SMS and Short Codes?

Short codes are great for mass messaging use cases like pin codes, two-factor authentication, SMS marketing, and more. If you’ve ever cast a vote for American Idol or donated via text to the Red Cross then you’ve used a short code. But some short code messages may be better sent using a toll-free number. Why?

Here are a few reasons:

  • A toll-free number can be provisioned and ready for use in the snap of a finger. Short codes require carrier approvals that can take weeks or even months to provision.
  • Toll-free numbers can be both voice and text-enabled, which opens the door for your customers to text and call you from the same number. The end result is additional flexibility for your customers and potential cost savings for you.
  • You likely already have a toll-free number that you’re promoting, so why get a new number for customers to remember? Leverage your existing toll-free number for both voice and texting.
  • Toll-free numbers will save you money, and can cost as little as $1 per number. Short codes cost between $500 to $1000 per month in lease fees to the Short Code Registry, and that cost is unavoidable.

Looking ahead, toll-free SMS is an ideal alternative for mass business text messaging when you include cost savings, ease of use, ease of implementation, and a better customer experience.

Toll-free verification will be required as of September 30, 2022, and can take up to 3-5 days.

Can I verify my toll-free numbers via API?

Yes! All TF Numbers need to be verified in order to achieve their maximum throughput.

The process for submitting for Toll-free Verification is very cumbersome today for customers. Our toll-free verification API takes the cumbersome process and allows customers to programmatically submit and hear back about the judgment on their toll-free numbers for verification.

SoM 2023