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Fundamental SMS Concepts > Payload of Text SMS Messages

Payload of Text SMS Messages

Everyone knows that a standard SMS message has to be short. Programmers have to understand the precise limits in order to make most effective use of messaging in applications without violating the limits; serious SMS users can also benefit from understanding exactly what is meant by “short.” The rules are simpler for GSM networks than for CDMA networks.

In GSM networks, an SMS message can contain up to 140 bytes of data. The data can be text encoded using either Unicode (UCS-2) or the GSM alphabet (a special character encoding); it might also contain a User Data Header (UDH) or 8-bit binary data, two features discussed in the chapter Binary SMS. The information on the encoding used (and the eventual presence of a UDH) is transmitted separately.


  

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