SMS pricing
Written by Cindy
Updated over a week ago

From 01 May 2022, there will be a fee for sending SMS messages with Semble.

Charges will be calculated in segments, with each segment costing 5p (GBP). On average one message is made up of 2.5 segments, giving an average cost of 15p.

When you send an SMS message containing more than 160 characters, the message is split into smaller messages. Large messages are split into 153 character segments, sent individually, then re-assembled by the recipient’s device. For example, if you send a message that is 161 characters, then two segments will need to be sent: one segment of 153 characters, and one segment of 8 characters.

Note: If you include any non-GSM characters (such as Chinese script) in SMS messages, those messages will be limited to 70 characters. UCS-2 messages of more than 70 characters will be split into 67 character segments. For more information, visit the Twilio website here.

How can you minimise the length of your SMSs and therefore your SMS costs?

The number of parts of an SMS message depends on the encoding and the length of the message. There are two main types of encoding: GSM and Unicode. GSM encoding can fit up to 160 characters in one part, while Unicode encoding can fit up to 70 characters in one part. GSM encoding supports a limited set of characters, while Unicode encoding supports a wider range of characters, such as emojis and symbols. Semble will always use GSM encoding unless the message contains special characters.If your message exceeds the limit of one part, it will be split into multiple parts and sent separately. This will increase the cost of your SMS message. To reduce the size and cost of your SMS message, you can try the following tips:

  • Avoid using characters that require Unicode encoding, such as emojis, symbols, or non-Latin alphabets which would force the use of Unicode encoding.

  • Use abbreviations, acronyms, or short forms to convey your message in fewer words.

  • Use links or attachments to share additional information, instead of including it in the message body.

  • Use fewer place holders in your templates to avoid lengthening your message.


For clients who have SMS 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) enabled on their Semble portal, a charge of 5p per SMS is incurred every time a patient logs into their portal using SMS authentication. This fee is applied to cover the cost of sending the authentication SMS to the patient's mobile device.
Here's how it works:

  1. SMS 2FA Activation: When SMS 2FA is activated for a contact or patient's Semble portal, they are required to verify their identity by entering a code sent to their registered mobile number via SMS during the login process.

  2. SMS Charge: Each time the individual initiates a login and receives the SMS verification code, a charge of 5p is applied to the client's account. This charge reflects the cost of sending the authentication SMS to the patient/contact.

  3. Frequency of Charges: Clients will incur this charge for every SMS authentication sent to a patient's mobile device during login attempts. The charge is automatically applied and reflected in the client's billing or account statements.

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