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Generally, all carriers measure text messages in character batches or segments. If you are using Aloware Broadcast or Sequence to send SMS or sending a single SMS to an Aloware contact, then you should understand how segments work and how it affects the SMS usage cost.
What is an SMS Segment?
In general, most messages have a 160-character limit per text message.
But what happens when you send longer messages?
Since the 160-character limit may not be enough when running campaigns or marketing initiatives, longer messages will be divided into "segments" with a 153-character per sending. The recipient will still receive the message in the correct order.
For example, if you send a 163-character SMS, it will be split into two: one with 153 characters, and the other one with 10 characters.
But if you are using special characters, the limit will decrease to a 70-character limit with the 63-character segment.
Aloware supports a 1600-character limit or 10-segments, but for better SMS delivery, it is recommended to limit your messaging to 320-character only. For MMS, 1600-character are considered as one segment.
How does it affect the cost of SMS messaging?
Aloware bills the SMS usage per segment sent because this is how mobile carriers charge their rates.
If you are not aware of messaging segments, you may wonder why you are charged for what appears to be a higher messaging cost. Below you can see the breakdown of charges per number of characters.
charged 1 segment
charged 2 segments
charged 3 segments
It is best to draft your message campaign with the message segment in consideration. When longer messages are required then it's best to factor in the additional costs.