BT/EE sender restrictions
BT/EE have introduced a series of new controls and restrictions aimed at protecting businesses and customers by reducing the likelihood of messaging scams and fraud.
These rules apply, whether you are sending SMS by using Email to SMS, our portal, our API or via an automation.
BT/EE changes relate to sender IDs, URLs, the use of special characters and short codes.
The following are examples of what will be blocked:
Sender IDs – alpha numeric
Your message may be blocked if you use any of the generic words listed below in your sender ID, or a variation of them.
Variations of the above words are also not permitted. For example – VERIFY. Using a variation such as those shown in the table below, may cause your message to be blocked.
|V E R I F Y
BT/EE supported special characters
The majority of special characters are not permitted by BT/EE and, if used, your message may be blocked. This only applies to special characters used in your sender ID. It does not apply to any used in the body of your message.
This is a current list of special characters that are permitted:
|A to Z (Upper case)
|A to Z (Lower case)
|0 to 9 (Numeric)
Sender IDs – specific brands/organisations
There are a number of specific brand names and organisations, whose name you cannot use as part of your sender ID. If used, your message may be blocked.
Examples include, but are not limited to, those listed in the table below.
If your name does appear in the list below, we will work with you and BTEE, to ensure you can continue to send messages, using the name of your brand/organisation. The same also applies if you are a reseller and send on behalf of one of the organisations below.
|Finance, Banking and Fintech
|Government and Healthcare
|Logistics and Parcel Delivery
|Mobile Network Operators/ Misc
|Lloyds Banking Group
|Bank of Ireland
|Ministry of Justice
|Coventry Building Society
|Department of Health and Social Care
|Meta (Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram)
|Student Loans Company
|Ministry of Defense
|Department of Transport
|Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
|Department for Business Energy
|Amazon (Not AWS)
|Education and Skills Funding Agency
|Financial Conduct Authority
|X, Formally known as Twitter
|Prisons and Probation Services
Sender IDs – numeric
Your message may be blocked if you are sending within, or to, the UK and use a numeric sender ID that does not begin with a UK dialling code.
If you are sending to the UK from another country, you will need to purchase a UK virtual mobile number (VMN) to do so.
The permitted UK dialling code formats are:
For mobile numbers:
For landline numbers:
The numeric sender ID does not need to include + prefix. If you wish to include it, its use will still be permitted.
If any of the following number formats are used, they will automatically be converted for you to the permitted format (447) listed above:
If any of the following number formats are used, they will NOT be converted to any of the permitted formats listed above and will be blocked:
Short codes that don’t follow the UK short code format (five digits starting with a 6, 7 or 8) will be blocked. Upon request, BT/EE approval can be given for 3 & 4 digit short codes and for short codes not starting with 6, 7 or 8 (e.g. for Irish companies that use start codes beginning with 5).
If an exception is needed, please contact your account manager in the first instance.
BT/EE will block suspected spam or fraudulent URLs that are included in the body of your message, so please ensure that you format your URLs correctly. Occasionally, very new URLs may be blocked.
What do I need to do next?
Even if you are happy that your current sender ID meets these rules, we’d ask you to take the time to double-check your sender ID, URLs if you use them, and short code format, to ensure service continuity.
It is important that you take the time to complete these checks and make any necessary adjustments, as you will still be liable for SMS charges if your messages are blocked for non-conformance to these new guidelines.
How will I know if my message has not been sent?
Messages that have been blocked by BT/EE, will be flagged by a failure error code in your reports.
Need more help?
We’re here to help, so please reach out to your account manager or to the support team.