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What Are the Different Types of Text Numbers?

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At Text Request, we refer to any phone number that can send and receive texts as a “text number.” But there are several different types of text numbers, and we’ll cover each below.

Hosted (Text Enabled) vs. Provisioned (Text Only) Numbers

When setting up your Text Request account, and when adding additional text numbers to it, you have the option to either use your current business number or to get a text number through us. Below are details of each option.

What is a hosted (text enabled) number?

The short answer: A hosted number is a phone number that we’ve added texting abilities to. So if you’re using your current business number for Text Request, that is a hosted number.

The details: Every phone number has two parts - voice and SMS. All phone numbers use the voice portion, but few use the SMS portion. So Text Request claims your phone number’s “SPID,” which allows us to route SMS messages through the Text Request dashboard. We call them hosted numbers, because we're hosting the SMS portion of your number in our dashboard.

When you host a number, nothing changes to your number’s voice services. You'll still be able to answer when people call. You just get SMS added to it.

To see if your current business number is eligible to be hosted, view our Landline Texting page.

What is a provisioned (text only) number?

Text numbers purchased from Text Request are provisioned. We’ve provided the number to you, as opposed to you using your current business number (see above). Numbers purchased from Text Request do not have an active voice function. They can only send and receive texts, which is why we call them text only numbers.

Types of Phone Numbers

There are six types of phone numbers. Some of these can be hosted, and some are text only (see above).

1. Toll-Free

These are 800-numbers (e.g. 855, etc.). We can host or provision 800-numbers for you. To provision an 800-number, please contact us. Note: Toll-free numbers do not support MMS (picture) messages.

2. Landline

These phone numbers are hardwired into the telephone grid. We can host all landline numbers.

3. VOIP

An acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, these numbers are entirely digital. They transfer voice, SMS, and media through the internet. Because VOIP numbers are more complex, there are some we can host and some we cannot. If you have a VOIP number you’d like to host, please contact us.

4. Mobile

These are cell phone numbers. They already have both voice and SMS portions active, so we cannot host these numbers.

5. Short Code Text Only

These are 5- and 6-digit numbers used primarily for mass alerts and promotions. These numbers are also very expensive ($1,000+/mo), but you can get the same functionality using our Keywords feature for just a few bucks.

6. Long Code Text Only

These are the 10-digit numbers Text Request provides if you choose to get a number through us instead of using your current business number. These numbers have no voice functionality (i.e. they are text only).