Tag Archives: SMS

SMS messages and GSM encoding

Today I learned from a science fiction discussion group that SMS messages don’t use UTF-8. In fact, they don’t even use ASCII or an extension of it. It’s a case of old technology which has survived beyond its time.

The usual encoding for SMS text messages is GSM-7. Most cell phones use it, regardless of whether they’re on the GSM network or not. They generally support Unicode as well, but in a strange way.
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