Everything You Have to Know About Concatenated SMS

SMS has an important part to play in business communications. However, in terms of the character limit, there are some challenges with SMS. Limiting your message to 160 characters can be tricky at times, especially if you have much to say. Some organizations view it as a challenge, others view it not quite so favorably. So what happens if you simply cannot squeeze your message into 160 characters? You use concatenated SMS!!

What does concatenated SMS mean?

Concatenated SMS messages allow a phone to send messages longer than 160 characters. The sender composes a message normally, however, behind the scenes, the phone detects the message length. If the message is less than or equal to 160 characters, the phone sends one standard SMS message. However, if the message is greater than 160 characters, the phone automatically divides the longer message into multiple, shorter SMS messages which are then transmitted to the recipient separately.

The recipient’s phone takes these multiple, shorter SMS messages and recombines them into the original message which was sent. Because the individual segments of the complete message need to be recombined in this way, this is referred to as ‘concatenated SMS’. The recipient’s phone will collect and reassemble those messages into the same order you sent it to recreate the message.

 In order to achieve this seamless delivery, additional information is added to each individual concatenated SMS message. This additional information, referred to as the user data header (UDH), provides identification and ordering information. For example, the UDH could relate the three individual concatenated SMS messages to each other and indicate the order for recombination.

Generally, telephone companies count individual concatenated SMS text messages separately even though they are being recombined at the phone into a single message. This means a message containing 180 characters could potentially invoke a charge for two SMS text messages, even if the sender/recipient only sees a single message. Note that if you send a message with more characters than the threshold limit, your message will be cut off. For example, if you send a message with more than 459 characters, but only allow up to 2 concatenated messages, your message will be cut off at 306 characters and the recipient will not receive the entire message.

SMS Concatenation with ZigaTEXT

To ensure that your messages are delivered Ozioma supports concatenated SMS with a default setting of 3 message parts. As with every mobile provider, each message part is charged as 1 SMS. To ensure your messages are being delivered as you intended, sign up for a free ZigaTEXT account.

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