SMS character limits

If you are sending an SMS with GSM-encoded characters, for example English characters, then the maximum length for one message is 160 characters.

We recommend keeping SMS content shorter than 160 in order to control the monthly usage and cost of SMS.

Although there is a 160 character limit, this does not mean that you cannot send SMS that extends beyond this. The recipient will still receive the SMS as one message without issue. The message body will be sent as a Multipart SMS, however please note there are limitations with Multipart SMS to be aware of, learn more here:

If you are using placeholders within your SMS content, please be aware that some placeholders will vary in character length because they are based on inputs from a customer or user.

For example: "Hello {customer-name}, thank you for joining the queue." contains a placeholder that passes the customers full name, which may contain enough characters to exceed the 160 threshold causing the message to be sent as two SMS. It is therefore recommended that you try and set SMS with a buffer of empty characters.

Please note: This is not a limitation imposed by Qudini, it is part of the standardised communication protocol and was defined as part of the 1985 GSM protocol which all SMS are subject to.

By default Qudini will send messages using GSM-encoded characters, however if you are receiving SMS that contains errors within the message body, this may be due to using non-GSM characters. Learn more about non GSM SMS here: Sending SMS for non GSM characters.

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