What is the meaning of prefix in SMS Sender ID?

Have you ever wondered what does the prefix stands for in a sender ID. Majority of us are unaware of the meaning of the prefix in front of a sender ID. In this article we are going to discuss the meaning and the reason for the prefix. So continue reading.

See the image below. In this particular image, the first 2 characters that is IM are the prefix of the sender ID. And the last 6 characters(PANTLS) is the sender ID of Pantaloons.

What is the prefix in sender Id


You will find that whenever you receive a sender ID SMS, there will be 2 characters in front of the main sender ID. We have taken the example of Pantaloons. Here the two characters are I and M. These are automatically set by the operator delivering the message. Its main purpose is to inform about the channel used in the message delivery. Bulk SMS company has no control over this.


According to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), the rules are,

  • Sender ID can only be of 6 characters. eg, ID-FSTSMS. Here FSTSMS is the sender ID of Fast2SMS.
  • The first character of the prefix display the operator name. Here in ID-FSTSMS, the operator is Idea cellular.
  • The second character of the prefix display the location of the operator through which the message is received.

So we can easily interpret that SMS has come from Idea cellular, Delhi.

Now let us quickly check the code used for operator and locations.


Operator code list

Reliance TelecomE
Idea Cellular I
Reliance JioJ
BPL Mobile/Loop TelecomL
Reliance CommunicationsR
Tata TeleservicesT


Location code list

Location of service circleCode
Andhra PradeshA
UP EastE
Himachal PradeshI
Jammu and KashmirJ
North EastN
Tamil NaduT
West BengalV
UP WestW
Madhya Pradesh and ChhattisgarhY


Let us discuss some more examples:

what is the prefix in front of sender id?


Here in the above SMS, BZ is the prefix. As we have discussed earlier about the operator and location code, according to it, B stands for BSNL and Z for Maharashtra and Goa. So if the SMS is received as BZ-PAYTMB, it means that the carrier delivering was BSNL and the region was Maharashtra and Goa.


what is the prefix in front of sender id?

Similarly the above image shows the sender ID as VK-iPaytm. Here V stands for Vodafone and K stands for Kolkata. It means that the SMS is received through Vodafone, Kolkata.


We hope that now you are clear with the prefix concept in the sender ID. Take the services of Fast2SMS and start sending SMS instantly. You can create your own sender ID as well. Please note that we have no control over the prefix of the sender ID. It is automatically set by the operator. But you can change the last 6 characters of the sender ID as per your wish.


Test Our Bulk SMS Service - FREE ₹50 credit will be provided after signupSIGNUP NOW !!