Short Message Service

Tyr SMS Gateway
and worldwide

SMS (or Short Message Service) is a means of communicating short text messages with mobile phones. Messages can be sent between mobile phones or between applications and mobile phones.

SMS in use on GSM mobile networks supports up to 160 characters when using the GSM default alphabet or 70 UCS2 characters (e.g. for Arabic and other non-Latin languages). When a message is longer than these limits, then a "long SMS" (or concatenated SMS) can be sent that uses segmentation and reassembly (SAR) to split the long message into multiple SMS message parts that use meta data to associate the parts. SMS can also carry non-text message payloads up to 140 x 8-bits in a single message.

SMS is defined in the 3GPP Technical realization of the Short Message Service (SMS) standard (23.040).

SMS Character Sets

SMS can be encoded using the following character sets:

Specifying the character set used in an SMS message is defined in 3GPP 23.038.

Send SMS Online

SMS can be sent online using SMS-enabled applications, from a web browser accessing a portal, or via an email client such as Outlook or Mail. Services from Melrose Labs that can be used to send SMS online include:

If you are a developer, see our SMS tutorial on how to programmatically send SMS via SMPP or REST API.


See the frequently asked questions section for more on SMS.

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