Shortcode are short digit sequences, significantly shorter than telephone numbers, that are used to address messages in the Multimedia Messaging System (MMS) and short message service (SMS) systems of mobile network operators. In addition to messaging, they may be used in abbreviated dialing.
Shortcodes are designed to be easier to read and remember than telephone numbers. Shortcode are unique to each operator at the technological level. Short codes are widely used for value-added services such as charity donations, mobile services, ordering ringtones, and television program voting. Messages sent to a shortcode can be billed at a higher rate than a standard SMS.
There are many companies in the Indian market who rent keywords, on a monthly basis, whose characters, on a typical telephone keypad, represent shortcode. Short codes are five digits in length and have to start with the digit ‘5’. The five digits can be extended by three digits further representing three additional characters. Texts sent to these Short Codes are commonly referred to as Premium Rate SMS Messages and cost around INR 1 to 3 per text depending on the operator as well as the service.