The History of Short Messages.

Nowadays, high tech technologies grab a large part of our life, and our time. Communication is an essential every day activity, which helps us stay in touch with friends, relatives, and allows making new connections.

With the invention of Text Messages, the need of sending letters, or emails, has disappeared. Now, people can stay in touch 24/7 without any hindrance. Instant messaging had changed the whole way of communication, and eliminated all barriers.

But have we ever thought what the roots of Text Messages are? How did it all arise? To find out, we have to go back to 1991. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

SMS is an American abbreviation that means Short Message Service.

Interesting Fact:

The dial tone for receiving a message (designed by Nokia) sounded like encoded, in Morse code, word SMS.

With the development of new technologies many companies were striving to bring changes, and make people’s life easier. It was a certain impetus of adding more features to mobile phones. Phone manufacturers was trying to come up with new ideas of user’s communication. As a result, transmission of short text messages was invented. First short message was sent in 1992.

Nevertheless, message story had started in 1991, when European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has developed a mechanism for exchange of small blocks of text information between mobile subscriber stations.

A worker of Deutsche Telekom (Mr. Friedhelm Hillebrand) came up with an idea of micro services-messaging SMS (originally Short Message Service). The job was often to score various proposals, including phone numbers, addresses, and ideas. The majority of these texts were no longer than 160 characters.

Subsequently, together with French colleagues, Hillebrand created the group GSM (later expanded as a communication standard that supported transmission of short messages (160 characters)).

United Kingdom adopted to new technologies quite fast. New interface was designed on the capacity of Vodafone and was ready to use, in December 1992. First message “Merry Christmas” was typed by a 22 year old engineer Neil Papworth, on a home computer in Bracknell. From Brackenll, message has reached Newburry, where Richard Jarvis (Neil’s friend) had started Christmas celebration.

Even though being extremely useful, new SMS technologies were not recognized as so important. When the ability to send and receive short text messages was already incorporated in GSM standards, operators were not in a hurry to bring new service to the market. The reasons were obvious: mobile market was in a forming stage, there was no clear understanding on how to use this new service (from a commercial point of view), and the number of interested service users were small. No one wanted to take additional costs on promotion of unknown technologies that no one wanted. At those time, communication service was still a luxury, for the majority of people.

With time, SMS service became more advanced, and allowed people exchanging messages with foreign mobile users.

Only in couple of years, Americans started using SMS service more often. By the end of 2011 the number of sent messages, per month, reached almost 400.

Nowadays, it’s difficult to imagine world without new technological advantages, which made it possible to stay in touch 24/7. SMS messages, made people connected to anyone, anywhere.

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