Short Message Service (SMS) message size and data coding

Article ID: KB15293

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 03-21-2012

 

Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry 7 OS and earlier
  • BlackBerry Internet Service
Jump to: Environment | Overview
CollapseEnvironment
  • BlackBerry® Device Software 4.0 to 6.0
CollapseOverview

The maximum allowable number of characters in a Short Message Service (SMS) message depends on the data coding scheme set on the BlackBerry® smartphone. The following list reflects the maximum allowable number of characters for each data coding scheme:

  • 160 characters for 7 bit scheme
  • 140 characters for 8 bit scheme
  • 70 characters for UCS2 scheme
Note: Special characters and characters in languages such as Arabic, French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Slavic require the use of the UCS2 scheme.

To create SMS messages that exceed the maximum allowable number of characters for each data coding scheme, create SMS messages with more than one page of characters. Each page is a separate message. The following list reflects the maximum allowable number of characters for each page for each data coding scheme:

  • 153 characters for 7 bit scheme
  • 134 characters for 8 bit scheme
  • 67 characters for UCS2 scheme

To change the data coding scheme on the BlackBerry smartphone running BlackBerry device software 4.0 to 5.0, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to Options.
  2. Select SMS.
  3. Select Data Coding, and choose the desired option.

To change the data coding scheme on the BlackBerry smartphone running BlackBerry device software 6.0 complete the following steps:

  1. Open the Text Messages application.
  2. Press the Menu button.
  3. Select options.
  4. Select Data Coding, and choose the desired option.

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Visit the BlackBerry Technical Solution Center at www.blackberry.com/btsc.