We use cookies to give you the best possible service. Carry on browsing or see our cookie policy hereClose X

Concatenated “Long Message” SMS feature now Live for the Bulk SMS system and the SMS Gateway

  • Why not share:
  • Social sharing button for Facebook
  • Social sharing button for Linkedin
  • Social sharing button for Twitter
  • Social sharing button for Googleplus
  • Social sharing button for Pinterest

You can now send text messages longer than 160 characters, in fact up to 612 characters which arrive as 1 message on peoples’ phones - using either your Text Marketer Bulk SMS account or SMS Gateway.

I don’t want to send long messages, does it affect me?
No. Apart from some slight changes to the character counter in your account.  you can still send messages up to 160 characters for 1 credit, as normal.

I do want to do this, what do I need to know? What’s different?
If you want to use the long message feature (aka Concatenated Bulk Text Messaging), there are 2 main differences to be aware of:

1. Concatenated messages cost 1 credit per 153 characters. The reason this is reduced from the normal 160 characters is to allow for the ‘invisible glue’ code in each part of the message which is inserted so that the phone knows to join these parts together once it hits the phone (see illustration below).

2. For the first 24 hours or so in your delivery reports, you will receive a report per part of the concatenated message. For example, if you sent a full 612 character (4 part) message, your delivery report would show 4 reports per number. For your convenience, within around 24 hours, our system then ‘cleans’ your delivery reports to show just 1 outcome per mobile number.

What’s this ‘invisible glue’? Why do I only get 153 characters per message credit in a long message?

Previously you could only send 1 x 160 character message to any phone. As the medium exploded, people wanted the ability to send longer text messages and the networks responded by creating the ‘concatenated text message’. Due to the limitations of text messaging, a long message of say 612 characters is still sent as 4 individual messages. But, when our system tells the networks ‘these are 4 parts of 1 message’ they insert some code into each part which in turn tells the phone to display this as 1 message, instead of 4. This code takes 7 characters of ‘space’ in each part of the long message.

concat-exampleExample of the ‘invisible glue’ needed to ensure a long message is displayed as 1 message on the phone

I use the SMS Gateway. Can I send ‘long text messages’?
No problem at all. We have updated the SMS Gateway Integration document to reflect this change.

We hope this enhancement will help to increase the effectiveness of your SMS Marketing. If you are reading this and don’t yet have an account, why not get a free Bulk SMS account and have a free trial.

Related articles

  1. New Concatenated Bulk SMS Text Message feature due to be released
    A few months ago we conducted customer research asking if a ‘concatenated text message’ or ‘long message’ (the ability to send...
  2. PHP 5 Delivery Report Helper Class for our SMS Gateway
    Class Name: ProcessDeliveryReport This class enables you to access your delivery reports in a nice simplified way. You can search for...
  3. SMS Gateway API – Specification
    This blog post has been superseded with our website documentation It is recommended that you use the  RESTful version of the API which has largely superseded this document...
  4. SMS Gateway Explained
    How to use an SMS Gateway Continue reading →...
  5. Is there such a thing as ‘quality’ in Bulk SMS?
    There are a vast number of different ‘gateways’ that bulk SMS service providers can use to connect to the UK...
  6. Supported and Unsupported characters in text messages – GSM Character Set
    When constructing the message for your SMS Marketing campaign you should be aware that not all characters are supported by...
  7. How RoughTrax increased sales by over 19% for next to nothing using Bulk SMS – could you?
    Further to our article, Top 5 Tips for increasing sales using Bulk SMS, one of our customers RoughTrax (a mail...
  8. PHP 5 SMS Send Class implementing listeners on our SMS Gateway
    Class Name: SendSMSNotifier This class is designed around the FREE Text Marketer SMS API, you need to sign up here...
  9. How to integrate our SMS Gateway API into your systems
    Introduction Adding SMS as a communication method to a system is often very useful, for instance you don’t have issues...
  10. How to use an SMS Gateway
    Our SMS Gateway is extremely powerful indeed. It allows companies to connect to our systems and send out messages 1...