How SMS Costs are Calculated

How SMS Costs are Calculated

If you’re wondering how the cost of sending an SMS through our service is calculated, this article will provide you with a clear explanation. It’s important to note that all the conditions and network rules described below adhere to international standards and have not been set by or its parent company.

The cost of an SMS is determined by the number of characters in the message text. For instance, if your message reads “Where are you?” it contains 14 characters. A standard SMS can be up to 160 characters in length. If you need to send longer messages, we employ a technique called concatenation, where special characters are used to join multiple SMS into a single message. Due to the character usage for concatenation, SMS lengths can vary, resulting in different page counts.

Number of Pages vs. Number of Characters:

Up to 160 Characters = 1 page
161-305 Characters = 2 pages
306-458 Characters = 3 pages
459+ Characters = 4 pages

For example, if your message contains 161 characters, you will be charged for two SMS pages because you are sending two SMS concatenated together. However, your recipient will receive it as a single message.

Do Spaces and Line Breaks Affect Character Count?

Yes, each space and line break contributes to the character count:

1 whitespace = 1 character
1 line break = 2 characters

Using Shortcodes in Messages:

When you use shortcodes in your messages, we consider the text after the shortcodes have been resolved. To be on the safe side, it’s a good practice to estimate how long the final replacement text for the shortcode will be within your message.

Unicode Content:

Unicode SMS messages contain characters not found in the GSM-7 character set. The GSM-7 character set includes Latin characters (A-Z), digits (0-9), and a few special characters. Unicode can represent any known character but takes up more SMS space compared to GSM’s 7-bit binary code. Therefore, SMS messages with Unicode content are limited to 70 characters, and messages longer than this will be segmented.

Number of Pages vs. Number of Characters for Unicode SMS:

Up to 70 Characters = 1 page
71-140 Characters = 2 pages
141-210 Characters = 3 pages
211+ Characters = 4 pages