SMS - What's the encoding?

What is the standard encoding for an SMS message sent through a mobile phone?

How do I check for the encoding given that I have access to the received SMS data?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

The default encoding in an SMS message is a 7-bit character set called GSM 7, see In fact the SMS message itself can use other character sets, for example Unicode which is used in Japan and China, as well as ANSI and OEM Ascii.

SMS are transmitted in packets called PDUs, each PDU containing a header before the *packed* 7-bit message. The format is slighly different depending on whether the PDU is to be sent or has been received. Take a look at :-

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.