Mar 7, 2023

In Canada, we have direct connections with local operators; however, local networks in Canada apply severe restrictions on what types of messages and the volume that is allowed. Our platform is set up so it adheres to these restrictions in the best way possible, based on official guidelines provided by the carriers. To send SMS messages to Canada, you are required to use a Local Number as the originator.

Bulk SMS

Bulk SMS is officially not supported in Canada and operators reserve the right to filter and block messages that they deem of a bulk nature and don't adhere to their internal guidelines.

Operators consider messages to be bulk if there is a group of messages with the same/similar content sent using the same originator. We've found that when split across smaller groups (<100 messages) and different times of sending (spaces of 5 minutes, for example), allows for a better delivery rate.

Maximum Messages

To send to Canada, you must purchase at least one local Number. Our platform allows for 500 SMS (160 characters) per Number per day to be sent and we will throttle the number of messages to be sent out at 1 SMS per second. If you send more than this volume, our platform may not send these but you may still be charged.

Delivery within this threshold can be affected by the above-mentioned restrictions applied at the networks' discretion. This is out of our control.

Short Code

Toll-Free Number

Toll Number

How to order

via Dashboard

via Dashboard

via Dashboard

Type of Number

Five/Six digit Short Code

Toll-Free Number

Geographical Number





SMS enabled








MMS enabled




2-Way Possible




Suggested Use Cases

High volumes, Marketing, 2FA, Alerts

Low - Medium volumes, 2FA, Non-Marketing & Marketing, Customer Service, Alert Notifications

Very Low - Test

Mixed Use Cases



Not advised









Throughput Limit

  • 30 MMS per sec

  • 400 SMS per sec

  • 3 MMS per sec

  • 3 SMS per sec

  • 3 MMS per sec

  • 3 SMS per sec

Pass-through fee**

Yes, depending on the recipient's operators

Yes, depending on the recipient's operators

Yes, depending on the use case and recipient's operators

Inbound Charge

Only carrier pass-through fees



Setup Time

8-12 weeks

1 business day Use case verification can take up to 1 week

1 day

Minimum Subscription Period

3 months

1 month

3 months


It is not allowed to send messages that promote gambling, betting and/or adult content as well as shortened URLs that mask or redirect to a URL. All messages of this nature can be considered spam and/or unsolicited and may be filtered. This is out of our control.

Traffic that has been delivered successfully, does not necessarily imply compliance with industry guidelines and regulations. Due to a lack of insight from the local operators we are unable to provide further, proactive details on additional filtering that may take place.

Additional Carrier Pass-through Fees

There are additional Carrier Pass-through fees per message on top of MessageBird message rates. The operators determine these and are subject to change.

*Note: These additional costs will be added to current MessageBird message rates. Message charges will continue to be: Base MessageBird message rate + Surcharge to destination carrier = Total message cost.

Find the current Carrier Fees here.

Throttling & buffering

The traffic towards the USA and Canada may need to be throttled if you exceed the sending rate your number allows. BIRD will buffer any message (SMS or MMS) above the applicable limits at no extra cost and send it only when possible. We will try our best to prevent your message from failing.

  • Because throughput limits vary according to number type, carrier, and type of number, the bird throttling mechanism should be considered a best-effort feature; we advise our clients to enforce their own limiting. If a message were to fail to be buffered by bird it will fail at a carrier level and would be charged; that message will be recognizable with source sms-messagebird and code 107: EC_CAMPAIGN_THROUGHPUT_EXCEEDED

OPT-IN and OPT-OUT Compliance

Bird will monitor standard OPT-IN and OPT-OUT keywords (see list below) to ensure compliance with the applicable regulations. If an opt-out request is received, MessageBird will process it and block future communications between the Sender and the Receiver (opt-out number) until this same Receiver (the end-user) OPT-IN again by sending the appropriate keyword. Personalized opt-out acknowledgement, non-standard opt-out words - for example, in different languages - as well opted-out number tracking can be set up by customers using Flow Builder or, if you use Contacts, activating the Automatic SMS Subscriptions (Opt-in/Opt-out).

Standard OPT-OUT keywords used by MessageBird are (all case insensitive) are

  • arret *

  • stop *

  • stopall

  • unsubscribe

  • quit

  • cancel

  • end

* No personalized opt-out confirmation is allowed for Toll-Free Numbers. For those keywords, the carriers will send a standard one and block traffic immediately. This restriction does not apply to Long codes and Short codes.

Standard OPT-IN keywords used by MessageBird are (all case insensitive) are

  • nonarret

  • unstop

  • start

  • yes

Keywords and Languages

Canada's regulation require the following keyword language association.

AIDE , ARRET => to always be answered in French

INFO , START ==> to always be answered both in French and English (bilingual)

STOP , UNSUBSCRIBE , END , YES , HELP => to always be answered in English

Support to Mandatory Keywords for Opted-Out end-users

Each BIRD customer must support the HELP, AIDE and INFO keywords and send required responses to end-users. Keyword requests should be supported at all times, even when it is requested by opted-out end-users. To prevent abuse and unsolicited content delivery, BIRD will allow only pre-approved HELP, AIDE and INFO templates to be sent to OPTED-OUT end-users. Customized messages remain available for OPTED-IN end-users. To avoid blocking, please ensure your keyword answer to OPTED-OUT end-users matches the following template:

Manage your preferences. Reply STOP to opt-out or START to opt-in. Msg&Data rates may apply.

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