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How long is a single SMS body?


Question

What is the maximum length of one SMS?

Applies To

  • SMS
  • Character Limit
  • GSM Encoding

Answer

The maximum SMS body length is 140 bytes, which equates to 160 GSM-encoded characters (7 bits each) or 70 unicode-encoded characters (2 bytes each).

If you are seeing a maximum message length of only 70 characters, this is an indication that you are requesting unicode encoding. If you are using an application or script to submit your requests, it may be that your program code is determining you need to use unicode when this is not the case.

The majority of accented French characters are included in the GSM character set. If you are sending in a Western European language we would recommend forcing the message body type to text (that is, not including the &type=unicode in your API request).

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