SMS Character Count

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Can I send messages in excess of 160 characters?

You have the capability of sending messages in excess of 160 characters through our services.

When sending a message in excess of 160 characters, the message is broken up in to message parts of 153 characters, and sent to the handset. The handset then reassembles the message, displaying the message as one extended-length, concatenated message. When sending an extended-length message you are charged for each 153 character part that is sent. This charging process is dictated by the network operators.

You can send the maximum message length of 918 characters, or send a message length of 402 characters for the Unicode character set.

What characters are part of the Unicode charset?

The Unicode character list contains symbols from the Cyrillic, Chinese, Arabic, Korean and Hangul alphabets. It also contains several special symbols (such as emoticons, emoji and kanji).

Unicode character list: here

GSM Charset: The GSM 03.38 charset is the standard character set for text messaging on GSM-based cell phones. All GSM handsets and network elements support the GSM 7-bit alphabet. The basic GSM charset contains the letters A to Z (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, special symbols and several symbols from the Greek alphabet.

@	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

Escape Characters: Some characters in the GSM 03.38 extension table can only be used at the cost of two characters. The GSM charset uses 7-bit alphabet encoding, but the escape characters require 14 bits to encode, thus taking up two characters. These symbols are:  |, ^, {, }, €, [, ~, ] and \.

Unicode Symbols: Unicode is a standard for encoding, handling and representing the text expressed in many of the world’s writing systems. The latest list of Unicode symbols contains over 120,000 characters from multiple symbol sets and 129 historic and modern scripts.

Unicode Encoding: Compared to the GSM charset, Unicode encoding supports a huge range of languages and symbols. However, if your text message contains a symbol that isn’t in the 7-bit alphabet, UCS-2 encoding must be used. This type of encoding takes up a lot of space, thus reducing the number of characters allowed in a message to 70.