How Many Characters can My Plain Text & Unicode SMS Contain?

sms_unicode_character_limitsIn both plain text & in Unicode SMS (Regional Language SMS) we support upto 1500 Characters per SMS. However, it varies with each operator. To make sure the long sms delivers as Single Message to the receiver.
Note that SMS Counts will be charged based on the characters, as per Universal Standards, as below.

Plain Text Character limits:

  • 1 SMS: 160 Characters
  • 2 SMS: 153*2 = 306 Characters
  • 3 SMS: 153*3 = 459 Characters
  • 4 SMS: 153*4 = 612 Characters
  • 5 SMS: 153*5 = 765 Characters & so on..

We suggest you to use maximum of 700-1000 Characters per message. Note: Reliance and few other operators does not deliver over 700 characters at times.

Unicode SMS Character limits:

  • 1 SMS: 70 Characters
  • 2 SMS: 63*2 = 126 Characters
  • 3 SMS: 63*3 = 189 Characters
  • 4 SMS: 63*3 = 252 Characters
  • 5 SMS: 63*3 = 315 Characters  & so on..

We suggest you to use maximum of 300-400 Characters per message on Unicode. The reason this limit is low is because of the fact that the unicode messages are encoded which makes the message too long as 1500 Characters for a small message of 3 SMS.

Always send a test sms before you push them in bulk, so you know how much you’ll be charged before hand. Also note that you should never copy the sms content from a word file to our dashboard which adds up extra counts due to formatting in Word. We’ve best infrastructure to deliver your Long sms on time. Contact our support team for any queries reg. the same.

Difference Between Promotional SMS and Transactional SMS

Major Differences between Transactional & Promotional SMS:

  • Sms to DND enabled numbers are allowed in Transactional Route; not allowed in Promotional.
  • Transactional Route is active 24/7; Promotional route is active only between 9Am-9Pm.
  • Transactional SMS are Template Based, Promotional sms are non-template based.
  • Any Commercial advertising via transactional sms would lead to legal penalty; All promotions are allowed in Promotional Route only.
  • DND Undertaking Documentation Required for Transactional Route; No documentation Required for Promotional Route
  • Branded Sender ID available on all packages in transactional SMS Route; Branded Sender ID available only on 10,000 SMS or higher packages in promotional Route and for Limited time. By Default, Promotional sms goes through Numeric Sender ID. Eg: LM-267326

Promotional SMS Samples:

  1. Get Flat 10% Off on Hotel Booking, Same has been updated on the portal. Login now and start booking !
  2. Free EMI Processing Fee,  Book your Apartment today for Just 1,00,000 INR and pay rest through easy installments. Contact XXXYYY

Transactional SMS Samples (Needs Approval):

  1. Dear Parent, Your Child/Ward attendance in the class is not upto the mark. Hence, you are requested to meet our Director #Variable# ASAP.
  2. Dear #Variable#, Thanks for your enquiry!! We keep in touch with you ASAP. Kindly check your Email ID for more information. Have a nice day. If it’s urgent call #Variable# or mail to #Variable#
  3. Dear #variable#, your payment for the month of #Variable# with amount #Variable# is pending.

Note: #Variable# mentioned above can be replaced as you wish.

So how to choose which route you need? – Its pretty simple, if you’re promoting something, choose Promotional Route; If you want to send some important alert or reminder sms, choose Transactional SMS Route.


What is Transactional SMS?

Transactional SMS

Transactional SMS Service by SmsHorizon

According to latest TRAI regulations, SMS sent by entities with informational Content are considered as Transactional SMS and are allowed to terminate on all mobile numbers, including DND enabled numbers. The service can be used 24 hrs a day. Some of the common usages of Transactional SMS in organizations are mentioned below,

Transactional SMS Usage:

  • Messages sent to its customer(s) by the Bank or financial institution or insurance company or credit card company
  • Information given by Airlines or Indian Railways or its authorized agencies to its passengers regarding travel schedules, ticket booking and reservation;
  • SMS from a registered educational institution to parents or guardians regarding the progress of students;
  • Shipping status sent by e-commerce agencies in response to ecommerce orders/payments made by their customers;
  • Stock Tips sent by a company or a firm or depository participant  to its clients for commodity, stock or spot market, provided they agree to receive the alerts.
  • Information sent by a registered company to its employees or agents or to its customers pertaining to services or goods to be delivered to such customers;

Steps to Send Transactional SMS:

  1. Choose your preferred transactional sms Package & make Payment accordingly – Order Here
  2. Send us the Scan copy of DND undertaking Document with all details filled. Note that Sender ID and Templates are mandatory.
  3. Once the Account is activated, you shall start using the service instantly through our web interface or through your application using our HTTP SMS API

Related: Choosing Sender ID for Transactional SMS

Note: Promotional SMS are strictly prohibited in this route and attracts a fine of upto 1Lakh INR as per TRAI regulations. If you’re unaware of SMS Templates, you might need to check out Transactional SMS Template section for more details. See some examples of transactional SMS templates from this section to get a better idea.