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Determine the number of text messages sent and received

How to determine the number of text messages you've sent or received

Text messaging rates depend on whether you are local or roaming, or you are sending to an international destination. You can send and receive text messages Canada wide and in more than 130 countries worldwide. When sending messages to other countries, you might need to use a country code before the number.

View your messaging usage in My TELUS


To view your messaging usage:

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Select Usage
  3. Select View messaging usage
  4. From the Period menu, select the desired time frame you want to review
  5. Select View

You will see a summary of your usage for sent and received messages in the Text Message meters. For a more detailed view of your messaging usage, look under the Daily messaging usage section.

To reduce the cost per message, consider getting a messaging package that’s right for you. The package includes per-message discounts and free incoming messages.

Length of a text message


The international standard for one text message is limited to 140 bytes, which translates into a maximum length between 63 and 160 characters, depending on the type of characters used by the phone.

What determines the length


When writing a text message, characters used will impact the type of encoding used by the phone.

The two most common character encoding types used by devices are:

  • GSM (7-bit alphabet), whose library contains 128 characters, including 10 escape ones (that count for 2 standard characters each). The maximum length of a text encoded in GSM is between 153 and 160 characters in length
    and
  • Unicode (UCS-2), whose library contains more than 120 000 characters. The maximum length of a text encoded in Unicode is between 63 and 70 characters in length

The phone picks the encoding automatically, depending on the characters used. For example, the phone will convert the text into Unicode automatically, when using an emoji, a symbol or a letter with an accent (e.g. é).

The maximum size of a text message is always 140 bytes, but the number of characters will vary, depending of which ones are used.

What happens when the text message is long


A long message will be automatically split into multiple ones. To ensure the receiver gets them in the correct order, each multi-part message uses 6 bytes for its User Data Header (UDH), which allows the parts to assemble correctly when received. This leaves 134 bytes for the actual message content.

Text using GSM encoding:

  • 1 standard SMS message = up to 160 characters
  • 2 concatenated SMS messages = up to 306 characters
  • etc.

Text using UCS-2 encoding:

  • 1 standard SMS message = up to 70 characters
  • 2 concatenated SMS messages = up to 134 characters
  • etc.

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