Wireless Text Messaging (SMS, MMS, and More)

Wireless Text Messaging (SMS, MMS and More)

American consumers and businesses rely on wireless text messaging.  In fact, America’s wireless networks carried over 1.9 trillion text messages – that’s over 5 billion text messages every day – and 218 billion MMS messages in 2015.

Easy to use, messaging has become a trusted, convenient, and valued communications environment for consumers and enterprises.  Today, wireless consumers can send text messages to other wireless consumers simply by texting to the recipient’s 10-digit phone number. No applications to download, and no additional identifiers needed besides the phone number. 

Since 2001, CTIA has helped to convene and facilitate discussion among wireless messaging ecosystem stakeholders. Through this role, CTIA has identified ways to protect and enhance the consumer experience and account for the evolving wireless messaging marketplace.

CTIA’s Messaging Principles and Best Practices offers a set of voluntary recommendations developed with wireless messaging ecosystem stakeholders to support a robust and dynamic wireless messaging community where: 

  • Wireless consumers can exchange wanted messages with other wireless consumers;
  • Enterprises and consumers can exchange wanted messages; and
  • Consumers are protected from unwanted messages. 

The wireless messaging ecosystem has changed over time and CTIA's Principles and Best Practices (formerly known as the CTIA SMS and MMS Interoperability Guidelines) continue to evolve. The current version of the CTIA Messaging Principles and Best Practices is available here.

Last Updated January 2017