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Send Detailed Content with smslocal’s Long SMS Messages Support

long sms messages

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SMS messaging remains convenient, but 160 characters is limiting. smslocal enables sending long SMS messages up to 1600 characters, overcoming the restrictive standard limit. Our extended concatenation allows you to send detailed, unbroken content in a single long SMS.

The 160 Character SMS Standard

The 160 character limit for individual SMS messages has been in place since the first text messaging standards were established in the 1980s. Each message can contain a maximum of 140 bytes of data, which translates to 160 characters using the default GSM-7 encoding.

This limit ensures each message fits into the signaling bandwidth available for SMS transmission separate from the mobile voice channel. Keeping messages short optimizes use of the limited space for messaging within the network protocol.

notification-and-alert (1)

Effects of the 160 Character Limit

The 160 character per message limit has shaped messaging behavior and culture over the years. On the positive side, it has led to more precise phrasing with no wasted words. But it can also result in fragmented or unclear communication when messages are split awkwardly.

Concatenation for Long SMS Messages

While individual messages max out at 160 characters, it is possible to send longer content through SMS concatenation. With concatenation, multiple messages are linked together transparently to transmit longer text.

Each segment remains within the 160 character boundary, but the total message length can exceed that. The receiving device automatically combines the message parts in the proper order.

Downsides of Concatenation

Concatenation allows bypassing the 160 character cap, but not without some tradeoffs. Each message segment is billed separately. So costs go up linearly with more segments. Just a few concatenated messages can become expensive to send.

There are also technical limits to how many segments can be concatenated. The maximum concatenated length is around 918 characters for GSM-7 encoding. In practice, long concatenated messages are impractical for routine communication.

smslocal’s 1600 Character Message Limit

To provide greater SMS messaging flexibility, smslocal supports SMS messages up to 1600 characters. This is ten times the standard 160 character limit.

smslocal achieves this through expanded concatenation capabilities. Instead of just a few message segments, content is automatically split across the necessary segments to enable 1600 characters per message.

long sms messages

Cost Effectiveness of smslocal Long Messages

By keeping the per-message costs low, smslocal makes it cost effective to send long concatenated messages when needed. The per-segment price does not dramatically rise for higher numbers of concatenations.

Sending a 1000+ character message is affordable using smslocal, versus price prohibitive on traditional carriers. The 1600 character capability is well-suited for critical notifications and alerts with detailed content.

Use Cases for Long smslocal Messages

Here are some examples of use cases enabled by smslocal’s long SMS messages support:

  • Emergency alerts with evacuation instructions or health advisories requiring significant detail.
  • Event notifications with maps/directions, multiple data points like dates, times, addresses, etc.
  • Promotional content like special offers with full terms and conditions included.
  • Chat bot conversations with detailed replies that would be fragmented otherwise.
  • System alerts and notifications with verbose supporting information to aid troubleshooting.
  • Security authentication messages containing one-time passcodes and context.
  • Backup verification texts for two-factor authentication with instructions.
  • Appointment reminders with dates, times, locations, confirmations steps, etc.
  • Shipping delivery updates with tracking info, links, support contacts, and more.

With the 1600 character SMS limit, smslocal enables these types of informative long messages.


The 160 character constraint on individual SMS messages can be limiting for contemporary communication needs. But concatenated messaging brings new costs and technical hurdles.

smslocal provides a cost-effective solution with 1600 character SMS support. This empowers any business or organization to send detailed, long-form content over SMS when needed. Taking advantage of long messages can improve customer engagement for modern messaging demands.

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Sadik Patel

Sadik Patel is a highly experienced individual in the telecom field, with over 13 years of valuable experience with My Country Mobile. Currently serving as the Head of SMSlocal, his expertise lies in various aspects of telecom including VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), SMS (Short Message Service), networking, and content writing. Sadik Patel's extensive knowledge and skills in the telecom industry have made him a competent professional in the field, capable of handling different challenges related to telecommunications technologies and services.