RALEIGH – Bandwidth, a provider of communication services that went public late last year, is rolling out a new messaging service that the company says is a “powerful alternative” to standard short codes.

Short codes, also known as or short numbers, 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, according to Wikipedia.

Bandwidth, which positions itself as a Communications Platform as a Service, or CPaaS with its own Internet Protocol-based network with voice, video and messaging offerings, calls its new offering Enterprise A2P Messaging.

A2P stands for Application-to-Person.

Expected uses include customer service notifications (alerts, appointment reminders. It also offers the “ability to easily switch from text messaging to phone calls at high volume,” the company explains.

Bandwidth says the new service will be offered toll-free over its network. It offers the “ability to make a phone call using the same toll-free number— a more cost effective solution that removes the approval wait times that are commonly associated with five or six digit short codes,” Bandwidth said.

“We believe that toll-free SMS is the new standard for business messaging,” said Jason Sommerset, Bandwidth’s vice president of messaging services.  “Businesses need more than what short codes are able to offer, and local phone numbers are not set up to handle the volume that enterprise use cases demand. We’re able to offer the best of both worlds with our A2P product, delivering at scale for an even better customer experience. We’re proud to pave the way for innovation in the toll-free messaging space with numbers that are both voice and messaging enabled with enterprise scale.”