Wondering what are these SMS Codes?

You will be receiving SMS and alerts from Banks, companies, service providers etc. These SMS are coming some particular sender code like:

TA-ICICI, VX-Vodafone, AX-Airtel, AD-HDFCBANK, TM-ICICIBNK, TM-HDFC-Sec, TA-ICICILom and so on… 

Have you ever wondered what are these SMS codes and from where these SMS gets originated? Then below information will help you to understand this. 

Generally these SMSs are originated from a Bulk SMS Provider who uses 11 digit alpha-numeric characters as Sender Code. 

There was a potential security risk in this method because it was possible to give a phone number as Sender Code. It appears to the recipient that this SMS was originated from that particular phone number. This method can be used to send SMS from a fake phone number. 


TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has identified this security risk and introduced the regulation which restricts the Bulk SMS Providers to use 8 character Sender Code. The remaining 3 characters are used to specify the service provider identity and the location of SMS origination. This prevents SMS Providers from sending unsolicited commercial communication. 


So the Sender Code has the following format. 


Here first character (X) is the service provider code.

Second character (Y) is the location of SMS origination.

And remaining 8 characters (followed by an hyphen) is used to specify company name.


Following table lists the Codes assigned to the service providers.



Following table lists the Codes assigned to the location (area).



So now let us dissect the sender code AD-HDFCBANK

Here first character A tells that the service provider is Airtel (Bharti)

Second character D tells the location Delhi

And the remaining characters tells the company name HDFC Bank.


So, I am sure next time you get an SMS with a code like this, you’ll know what it is.



For more details on TRAI regulation you can refer:




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