SMS Length and Encoding

GSM 03.38 is the commonly used encoding for messages.

7-bit Encoding

The following are the characters supported in a 7-bit encoding:

@ Δ SP 0 ¡ P ¿ p £ _ ! 1 A Q a q $ Φ " 2 B R b r ¥ Γ # 3 C S c s è Λ ¤ 4 D T d t é Ω % 5 E U e u ù Π & 6 F V f v ì Ψ ' 7 G W g w ò Σ ( 8 H X h x Ç Θ ) 9 I Y i y LF Ξ * : J Z j z Ø ESC + ; K Ä k ä ø Æ , < L Ö l ö CR æ - = M Ñ m ñ Å ß . > N Ü n ü å É / ? O § o à

These characters are charged as one character.

Extended Characters

| ^ € { } [ ] ~

These characters are charged as two characters with 7-bit Encoding.

SMS with Unicode Encoding (UCS-2)

The Unicode encoding (UCS-2) offers a wide range of characters and languages that are not available in 7-bit encoding.

The UCS-2 comes into the picture when your messages contain characters that are not supported by 7-bit encoding. These characters consume more space, and thus, your message with 160 characters will be reduced to 70 characters.

SMS is divided into parts

When your SMS has more than 160 characters, 7-bit content type, and includes extended characters, or when you try to send Unicode SMS with more than 70 characters, the message will be divided and delivered in parts as multiple SMS. Each message will be embedded with a UDH heading for more clarity on the order and part of the message.

For Unicode (UCS-2) message with 7-bit content and 160 characters, the message will be divided into 153 characters and 67 characters, respectively.


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