SMS character counter.

Writing a text message is no mean feat. On the contrary, it's an art where every character counts to convey a message effectively.

For companies using SMS routing as a marketing tool, mastering this art is crucial.
In the world of marketing, every word is precious, and SMS, although succinct, is a powerful means of communication.

Our character counter allows you to check the length of your SMS, to understand the characters supported by different encodings (GSM or Unicode) and thus to send powerful messages while optimising your costs.

This meticulous approach is not just a constraint imposed by GSM standards. On the contrary, it offers the opportunity to perfect your message, refine your communication and maximise the impact of your marketing campaigns. By using our tool, you turn a constraint into a competitive advantage: the conciseness of SMS becomes your ally, ensuring that every word counts.

Secure your copywriting process, improve your marketing strategy and harness the power of SMS.

Calculate the actual length of my text message

The length of your message requires a breakdown. Concatenation header (UDH) :

These characters count double.

Requires conversion to 16-bit Unicode.


* When the length of the message exceeds the maximum size allowed in an SMS, it must be split into several segments to be forwarded. The concatenation header enables the recipient's terminal to combine the different segments into a single displayed message.

GSM 7-bit character table

@ £ $ ¥ è é ù ì ò Ç LF Ø
ø CR Å å Δ _ Φ Γ Λ Ω Π Ψ
Σ Θ Ξ ^ { } \ [ ~ ] |
Æ æ ß É SP ! " # ¤ % & '
( ) * + , - . / 0 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?
¡ A B C D E F G H I J K
X Y Z Ä Ö Ñ Ü § ¿ a b c
d e f g h i j k l m n o
p q r s t u v w x y z ä
ö ñ ü à  

These characters occupy two spaces

GSM alphabet bases and additions

In the world of mobile telephony, the basic alphabet GSM 03.38 uses a set of 7 bits per letter. This gives 128 different characters, each represented by a hexadecimal value between 0x00 and 0x7F.

But that's not all! An extended version of this GSM alphabet adds 10 characters to the original list. original list. These new characters are sent in two parts, starting with the escape character encoded on The 7-bit escape character (0x1B) is followed by the extended character. So, although these extended characters are perceived as a single character when they are written, they are counted as two in the transmission.

Discovering Unicode characters

Unicode characters play a crucial role in text input, triggering a specific mode as soon as they are typed. This technical feature enables a wide range of symbols and languages to be activated, including complex alphabets such as Cyrillic, Arabic and Chinese.

This ability to switch from one character mode to another offers professionals a wide range of possibilities for communicating and accurately representing data. By using these special characters, business users can enrich their exchanges and offer a richer, more inclusive experience to their customers and partners.

Examples of Unicode characters

¢ ¦ ¨ ¨ © « ¬ ® ¯ ±
³ ´ µ · ¸ º » ¼ ½
Ô Õ × Ù Ú Û á â ã ç
í î ï ð ó ô õ ÷ ú û
ÿ Б В И Л Ф ж Я п ц
Ӵ Ӝ ӝ Ӟ ӟ Ӣ ӣ Ӥ ӥ Ӫ
Ѐ Ё ӫ й Ӳ ý þ ê ë À
Ò Ó ¾ ¹ ² Ђ Ѓ Є Џ Ӭ
ف ق ك ځ ڂ ڜ ڝ ڞ ڟ ڠ

All these characters trigger Unicode mode

Concatenation of SMS messages in 6-byte UDH

Segments GSM-7 Unicode
Max per segment Max per SMS Max per segment Max per SMS
(a) (b) (a x b) (c) (a x c)
1 160 160 70 70
2 153 306 67 134
3 153 459 67 201
4 153 612 67 268
5 153 765 67 335
6 153 918 67 402
7 153 1071 67 469
8 153 1224 67 536

To ensure complete message transmission, we allow up to 8 concatenated messages to the target terminal.

The subtleties of SMS message length

SMS messages are measured in chunks of characters called parts, which is fundamental to understanding how they work. Every telephone operator in the world uses this concept to charge for messages sent. The total length of a text message affects not only the number of parts it will contain, but also its overall cost.

SMS length constraints are important to consider when optimising sending costs. For example, an SMS message is limited to 160 characters with GSM-7 encoding, and 70 characters with UCS-2 encoding. However, most current phones and networks allow messages to be segmented, concatenated and reconstructed up to 1600 characters. When the character limit is exceeded, the message is split into several parts, requiring specific management to reconstitute it correctly at the recipient's end. This process involves adding a user data header to each part to tell the phone how to reconstruct the original message. As a result, each part of the message contains only 153 characters using the GSM-7 encoding or 67 characters using the UCS-2 encoding for long concatenated SMS messages. Once all the parts have been received, the phone assembles them to display them as a single SMS to the end user.

Discovering emoticons

Emojis - small images used to express emotions and ideas - are now ubiquitous in our text messages and short messages. However, sending them can sometimes take up more space than expected. Most emojis use two bytes in a text message, but some, particularly the more detailed ones, require four or more bytes, which can affect the maximum length of an SMS and lead to additional charges.

At the same time, emoticons have evolved to represent a greater number of human nuances and body parts. Thanks to specific codes, it is now possible to change the skin colour of certain emojis, offering a more inclusive representation in our online communications.

Examples of emoticon characters

😀 😁 😂 😃 😄 😅 😆 😇 😈
😌 😎 😏 😐 😑 😒 😓 😔 😕
😙 😚 😛 😜 😝 😞 😟 😠 😡
😥 😦 😧 😨 😩 😪 😫 😬 😭
😱 😲 😳 😴 😰 😯 😵 😶 😷
😽 😾 😿 🙀 😼 😻 😺 😹 😸
🙃 🙁 🙂 🙃 🙄 😮 😥 😣 😤
😖 😗 😘 😉 😊 😋 🙍‍♂️ 🙆‍♀️ 🙇🏽
🙋🏿‍♀️ 🙋‍♀️ 🙌🏾 🤷🏽 🧔🏻 👴🏼 👉🏽 🤞🏿 👨🏾‍🏫

These characters can occupy several spaces.

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