GSM Alphabet

All text contained in an SMS message either uses the GSM character set, UCS2 or national language shift tables. Up to 160 x GSM characters or 70 x UCS2 characters will fit into a single SMS. Where a text message is larger than the capacity of a single SMS then segmentation and reassembly headers in each SMS are used to allow the message to span multiple SMS.

The GSM character set is shown in the following tables.

0- 1- 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7-
-0 @ SP 0 ¡ P ¿ p
-1 £ _ ! 1 A Q a q
-2 $ " 2 B R b r
-3 ¥ # 3 C S c s
-4 è ¤ 4 D T d t
-5 é % 5 E U e u
-6 ù & 6 F V f v
-7 ì 7 G W g w
-8 ò ( 8 H X h x
-9 Ç ) 9 I Y i y
-A LF * : J Z j z
-B Ø + ; K Ä k ä
-C ø Æ , < L Ö l ö
-D CR æ = M Ñ m ñ
-E Å ß . > N Ü n ü
-F å É / ? O § o à

Further characters are supported using an extended character set that is accessed using the escape character (0x1B). These characters are as follows:

0- 1- 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7-
-0 |
-1
-2
-3
-4  ^
-5
-6
-7
-8 {
-9 }
-A
-B
-C [
-D ~
-E ]
-F \  

Sources:

  1. ETSI TS 100 900 (GSM 03.38 § 6.2.1) / 3GPP TS 23.038
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM_03.38

Notes:

  1. Based on the above tables showing the GSM character set, to represent the Euro (€) character the values 0x1B 0x65 are used.
  2. In GSM mobile networks up to 160 x GSM characters (i.e. 160 x 7-bits = 1120 bits) or 70 x UCS2 characters (i.e. 70 x 16-bits = 1120 bits) will fit into a single SMS.