What is an SMS Character Limit?

What is SMS character limit?

Short messages have the purpose of being precise and short. The standard limit for an SMS is 160 characters internationally. The reason is that the global system of communication had towers all over the regions. These towers helped interpret calls through a system called the packets. These packets were like memory, which means they had limits. Only 140 bytes were remaining and since each byte was one character, there was a 140-character limit. As technology grew, GSM increased the SMS character limit to 160 characters.  

SMS character limit

Fortunately, in this era, we have SMS stitching. SMS stitching is when there are multiple messages but they are sent and received as one message. However, this may be limited to the SMS network type and handset type. Receivers get the message concatenated into one. However, the messages are still counted separately.  

The following is the standard number of characters for each message.

One message is equal to 160 characters. These characters include all the spaces, punctuation, and letters. However, if you choose to add an emoji, the character count drops to about 70 characters. This is a Unicode and we will discuss more this later. The pricing is accordingly as well.

The length of the second message goes to about 153 characters. Similarly,  the count decreases to 67 for the next message if there are Unicode involved in the message.  

This goes on as the number of messages increase.

Why does the character count reduce as the messages increase?

A lot of people think this is a money-making gimmick that SMS carriers do. This is far from the truth. The number of messages decreases because of the stitching process. Let us explain this with an example.

The memory that it takes to send a message is like a container. When you send one text only, it can fit about 160 characters. However, when you want to send two messages. It needs more space to fit in the instructions to stitch the message. These instructions help direct the message to send it as one. That’s where the number of characters decreases. The more the number of messages, the more instructions need to be given out. Hence, the character count reduces.

This process helps smartphones read the message as one whole instead of breaking it in parts. However, older phones may still receiver broken messages.

What about Unicode?

Short messages or text messages came from the idea of pagers. Pagers only had the English Language supported. However, when they were embedded into mobile phones, the brought about versatility.

Different characters had to be joined to make one character of another language. Hence, the character limit would be used up.

Most smoothly – Unicode is encoding written text. These include several languages, emojis, and even special characters. Unicode reduces the character count because each one of them takes more space in a text message.

Unicode includes all non-English characters. These include all kinds of languages and their punctuations. English Numerical characters count as one-character, other languages come under Unicode as well.

What is SMS character limit for ExpertTexting?

The SMS character limit for ExpertTexting is up to 800 characters which winds up to five text messages. The messages charge as multiple. However, in modern phones, messages can concatenate as one big message. The delivery style depends on the recipient’s phone.

Bottom line

The SMS character limit is not a very difficult concept. However, it is very important to ensure that when you send out messages, the receiver gets it as one. Using an advanced texting service like ExpertTexting ensures that you get a clear idea of the number of characters in a message. Moreover. You can find out how it may segregate.

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