Text Message Segments


All phone carriers measure text messages in character batches called segments. Generally, every 160 characters is a segment. All plans are billed based on messaging segments sent and received. The longer your message is, the more it costs.


Individual segments are typically 160 characters in length, assuming standard encoding.  If certain characters are used, the encoding changes, reducing the segment length to 70 characters per segment.

Multi-segment messages

Large messages are split into 153-character segments and sent individually, then re-assembled by the recipient's device. The effective character limit per segment in large messages is 153 because a data header is included with each segment to ensure correct re-assembly.

Segment limits

Text messages are generally limited to 10 segments.  We recommend sending messages between 1 and 3 segments to maximise deliverability.

Character and segment count

  • 0 – 160 characters – 1 segment and charged as a single message
  • 161 – 306 characters – 2 segments and charged as two messages
  • 307 – 459 characters – 3 segments and charged as three messages
  • 460 – 612 characters – 4 segments and charged as four messages
  • 613 – 765 characters – 5 segments and charged as five messages
  • 766 – 918 characters – 6 segments and charged as six messages
  • 919 – 1,071 characters – 7 segments and charged as seven messages
  • 1,072 – 1,224 characters – 8 segments and charged as eight messages
  • 1,225 – 1,377 characters – 9 segments and charged as nine messages
  • 1,378 – 1,530 characters – 10 segments and charged as ten messages

*Assuming GSM-7 encoding

Segment-based message charges

The charge per message is based on:

  • Length - the length of your message in segments
  • Plan - Each pricing plan with Sakari has a different per-segment charge rate
  • Destination country - the destination country of your contact will have an associated per-segment rate

Each country has a rate per segment for each plan tier.  Please see our pricing spreadsheet.

Do you support sending emoji characters?

Yes! 😀  We support sending emojis 🎉 

Please note that emojis will convert your message to a Unicode encoding type.

 Pro Tip

Use the Sakari SMS length calculator to measure your message's length and segment count.

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