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Why are my SMS messages displayed as jumbled text?


Symptom

SMS messages received as jumbled text.

Applies To

  • SMPP
  • SMS
  • Encoding

Resolution

Make sure DCS (Data Coding Scheme) is set to 8. Any other value will result in your text appearing jumbled.

Examples of data coding parameter values are:

  • Latin alphabet (LATIN-1) - 3
  • Cyrillic - 6
  • Hebrew - 7
  • Unicode - 8

DCS is set to 0 by default which means SMSC Default Alphabet is selected. This encoding looks like the ASCII table (characters 0-127), with the difference that most of the control characters are not present and are replaced by characters from the LATIN-1 upper table (characters 128-255). Thus, this won't be suitable to send non-Latin characters.

Cause

The most likely reason is to have selected a wrong encoding. For instance, if you are sending text in Chinese characters, Unicode needs to be set.

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