Getting Started

Unlike with our app and web channels, SMS Channel IDs are not generated for you via an installed SDK. Rather, as with Email and Open Channels, you must register the delivery address with a valid MSISDN (phone number) with Airship via our Channels API, which will return a channel_id, or have the delivery address opt into a 2 way long code by performing a double opt-in.

This document explains how to register SMS channels, set up SMS notification templates, and send SMS using either the templates via our personalization API or directly via the push API.


See the SMS Channels API reference for more information on all the SMS endpoints.

Configure Your Project

Configuration requires setup of your Sender ID (long or short code). Contact Airship Support or Sales to provision your project for SMS notifications and complete the configuration.


Procuring or migrating an existing code is not instant and will require up to 8 weeks of lead time for short codes.

Register users

Once your project is enabled for SMS notifications, you can begin creating Airship SMS channel IDs for your users. You can then send to SMS just as you would for any other notification channel, e.g., iOS, Web. Additionally, you can send directly to a registered MSISDN via our API.

SMS Channel Registration API

To register an SMS channel on demand during your customer workflow, use the SMS Channels registration API.

For compliance reasons you must submit a valid opt-in date with the registration call. If a valid date is not set, we will employ a double opt-in and send an alert to the MSISDN asking the user to text "join" to initiate the opt in process, followed by a message to text "Y" (or "y") to complete the opt-in.

Example Request
POST /api/channels/sms HTTP/1.1
Authorization: Basic <master secret authorization string>
Accept: application/vnd.urbanairship+json; version=3;
Content-Type: application/json

    "msisdn" : "15558675309",
    "sender": "12345",
    "opted_in": "2018-07-10T11:59:59"
Example Response
HTTP/1.1 201 Created
Content-Type: application/vnd.urbanairship+json; version=3;

    "ok": true,
    "channel_id": "df6a6b50-9843-0304-d5a5-743f246a4946"