Why Does a Text SMS Contains 160 Characters? Actual Reasons Behind 160 Limit

Why Does a Text SMS Contains 160 Characters

Why Does a Text SMS Contains 160 CharactersHave you ever wondered actual reasons Why Does a Text SMS Contains 160 Characters? It might not seem like a much thinkable question, but there is a deep and interesting story behind 160 characters Limit.

In 1985, a man named Friedhelm Hillebrand, who was once a well known chairman of the non-voice services committee within the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), had got a task to set the limit on the amount of characters a text message could include.

Actual Reasons Behind 160 Character Limit

At first, Hillebrand’s team was able to mount only 128 characters into smaller data lane space, but that didn’t look enough to cover thoughts of the people. With a little tricks and a judgment to reduce the set of possible letters, numbers and symbols that the system could display, they made a room for another 32 characters.

Before conducting typewriter experiment, he had a deep conversation with a friend concerning whether 160 characters are enough to communicate most thoughts or not? “My friend said this was impossible for the mass market,” Hillebrand said. “I was more optimistic.”

He figured out that postcards often consist of less than 150 characters. He also analyzed that most of the messages sent through telex were about the same length as the postcards. Even after this exploration, he offered an additional 10 characters and increased the limit upto 160 Characters.

Why an SMS Does Contains 160 Characters


Actual Reasons Behind 160 Limit of An SMS

The most common applications used in SMS are:

  • Typing a short message is comparatively cheap and easy.
  • Services like email are also provided as users can mail any message or reply to any mail by their phones.
  • Chatting is one of the most used applications by the users.
  • SMS is also used to get the notifications.
  • Many of the information’s regarding ringtones, weather, and news can also be received by sending a unique code.
  • Latest ringtones can be downloaded and mail alerts can be activated.


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One side SMS is providing us many benefits but on the other hand it has some limitations too:

  • The size of the messages is limited to 160 characters.
  • The GSM protocols are not much efficient.
  • If user wants to get the information related to new updates; for each updates user has to send a different SMS.

Today, everyone is aware of SMS data application and most of us make use of this application. According to the survey the text are send more as compared to the calls. SMS is a technology which is been widely used by the people all over the world. The text service has made the communication more powerful means.


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SMS provides better non voice service with convenient method of exchanging thoughts and views. This application is widely used because it not only saves time but also is cheap as compared to call cost. SMS can be used nationally and internationally.

Messages have taken a tremendous growth in last few years. There is also one condition applied in messages and i.e., if Latin alphabets are used then the limit is 160 words but if the message type is non Latin like Arabic then the limit will decrease to 70 characters. On the basis of this unique algo twitter made its word limit of 140 characters for one message.

So these are actual reasons Why Does a Text SMS Contains 160 Characters. For more cool facts, stay in touch with us through our web portal.


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