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History of Text Messaging

The history of text messaging is the story of two men. The first is Fried helm Hillebrand, a German electronics engineer who in 1985 invented the first text messaging system called the Teletypewriter. The second man is Neil Papworth, a British engineer who in 1992 was working for Sema Group Telecoms Ltd. He sent the very first text message to Vodafone’s Richard Jarvis on 3 Dec 1992. The message simply read “Merry Christmas.” The next day, Papworth wrote a message to Jarvis with the question “How do you do”.

SMS texting is a method of communication between mobile phone devices. It uses standardized communication protocols to allow the exchange of short text messages between mobile phones and computer devices. The text messages are typically sent via a Short Message Service Centre (SMSC) to the recipient’s mobile device. The term originally referred to messages sent using the Short Message Service (SMS) over cellular phone networks.

The first commercial text messaging service was launched in March 1993 by Neil Papworth in the United Kingdom. It was called “Pegasus” and operated by British Telecom (now known as BT). The service allowed users to exchange short messages of up to 160 alpha-numeric characters with mobile phones in the UK. AirMail offered the first commercial American text messaging service called “Short Mail”. Which is debuted on November 11, 1993. Text messaging did not become popular until it was integrated into cellphones.

  • How text messaging started
  • A brief history of text messaging
  • The Future of Text Messaging


Asian Girl Reading Sms On Smarthphone


How text messaging started


The first text messages were sent in December 1992 using the GSM standard (Global System for Mobile Communications), which was developed in Europe and is still the most widely used cell phone technology worldwide. The technology was later adapted by Neal H. Rabin et al. at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, an early adopter of wireless technologies, who developed the SMS concept into a fully-fledged system that they named Mobile Data.

The concept of text messaging can be traced back to a December 3, 1992, memo that was written by a man named Neil Papworth. He sent his first text message to another employee at Sema Group, Richard Jarvis. The first text message was sent via the Sema Group’s electronic paging system called the Autotel System. It was delivered along with other messages and phone calls. The surprising thing about the first-ever text message is that it was sent using a simple computer program that Papworth had created himself. This program converted an English sentence into an electronic signal. After this successful text message transmission, Papworth began working on ways to refine his system. In April 1993, he designed a prototype for this new system and filed a patent for it.


A brief history of text messaging


Text messaging is a technology that enables the quick transmission of messages between mobile phones. The term originally referred to messages sent using the Short Message Service (SMS), the text messaging component of cellular phone technology. It has grown beyond this initial definition to include messages sent using Internet-based messaging applications, services, and devices.

  • History of Telegraph

The telegraph was invented by Samuel F. B. Morse 1835 and was the first device to send messages over long distances without the need for a physical connection. The first message was sent from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore on May 24, 1844. The recipient of the first message was railroad tycoon John Edgar Thomson, who would later become a U.S. senator, then Secretary of the Navy, and finally chairman of the board of trustees at what became the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


How it works


A telegraph is a machine that sends electric pulses along wires or other conducting material at high speed. These pulses represent letters or numbers, which can be decoded at the receiving end and converted back into words. The numbers use a codebook called a “telegraphic code”. Telegraphs have evolved into telephones and networked computers.

  • History of First phone call made

167 years ago, Alexander Graham Bell made the first-ever phone call. And no one was there to answer. For the next 40 years or so, telephone calls were only really used by companies and rich people. Then, in the 1970s, something new changed the world of communications forever.

  • Two big milestones added: The first email sent and instant messaging start

It was on August 14, 1971. Ray Tomlinson, who worked for company Bolt Beranek and Newman in Cambridge, Massachusetts, sent an email from one computer to another computer as part of a test. This test showed that computers could communicate with each other via a network. The history of instant messaging dates back to 1971, when computer programmer Ray Tomlinson sent the first instant message over the internet. Since then, instant messaging has become a popular alternative to calling friends and family due to its convenience.

  • When did the first cell phone call happen?

The first cell phone call was made on April 3rd, 1973, but you probably already knew that… or have a strong suspicion. Cell phones have grown in popularity over the years, to the point where most people are completely reliant on them.

  • The first mobile phone available to the public

One of the earliest examples of text messaging being used as a communication tool is its use in pagers. Mobile phones with built-in pagers were available for sale as early as 1984, which was demonstrated by Motorola with their DynaTAC mobile phone. Cyrillic alphabet support was added in 1988. At that time, the mobile phone was still practically rare, and few people could imagine having one that could send messages to any other person.


The age of texting: Who invented texting and When did texting start?

  • Mattie Makkonen invented the idea of text message

The idea for text messaging was first included in a patent filed by Mattie Makkonen in 1984. The title “Telecommunication system” described a “wireless telephone system for personal handy phone systems” that consisted of phone-like devices communicating over radio waves.

  • Fried helm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert: the concept of the text message

Fried helm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert invented the concept of the text message on June 1, 1992. That was when they introduced a satellite-based messaging system. It used to store and forward technology that let users send 160 character messages to handheld devices.

  • When was the first text message sent?

Neil Papworth, a 22-year-old British software designer, sent the first text message in 1992. Mr. Papworth sent his first text message, “Merry Christmas,” to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis’ Orbitel 901 handset in England.

  • When text-enabled mobile phones were created?

Text messaging has been used for many years starting from the first text-enabled mobile phone being created approximately 35 years ago. It is believed to have been started by John Eden in 1992 when he left Bell Laboratories and then in 1998 Qualcomm Incorporated developed the first SMS standard called the Short Message Service (SMS). This was created so that mobile users could communicate with their family and friends with their handsets rather than using a computer and telephone lines.

  • Texting is enabled within mobile networks

Texting is enabled within mobile networks as a means of communicating between users. SMS messaging services were limited to sending messages between users of the same network. More than a decade later, cell phones began to be used more and more often by customers worldwide, which caused a rise in the use of text messaging, making it a much bigger deal than before.

  • T9 predictive text is invented

The history of text messaging begins with a simple idea. It is useful for communication between two people in a direct and fast way. T9 predictive text was invented in the 1995s and it was the first time that users could type faster. T9 predictive text is the default on most mobile phones today. It was created by a Canadian company, Tegic Systems, and it was invented by a man named Cory Ben Nelson.

  • The QWERTY keyboard is introduced on mobile phones

From the invention of “texting” in 1997 (the idea of sending text messages on mobile devices using a keypad) to the creation of the BlackBerry™ and Smartphone keyboards, there has not been a year that didn’t make history for the development of text messaging.

  • Texting gains popularity with cross-network availability

In 1999, Texting become one of the most used methods of communication. From friendly chats to official communications, texting has completely transformed the way people get in touch with each other. A combination of post-WWI technology and the need for a better and faster way to inform people about important events paved the way for the popularity of texting.

  • Picture and video evolve the text message

Picture and video messaging are arriving in 2002 to the texting world. Since texting has come about, there have been many improvements in the way we send messages to one another. Pictures, videos, GIFs, and more come standard on most major carriers’ smartphones. While early cell phone carriers had no compatible way to send picture and video messages at all, it wasn’t until the arrival of MMS that things started to improve.

  • The iPhone launches

The launch of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 that the majority of mobile users began sending and receiving text messages on their smartphones. Before that time, text message use was mainly concentrated among younger users; this age group had grown up using instant messaging (IM) services such as ICQ, AIM, and Yahoo to send private email-like messages back and forth to each other.

  • Texting is now ubiquitous

Today, the majority of smartphone users prefer to contact each other through text messaging or apps than by phone. Text messaging started as a bit of a gimmick in Japan back in 1999 when it was first used for marketing purposes. Every minute we send 16 million text messages.

  • The next evolution of texting

The text messaging phenomenon has evolved from a simple way for friends and family to communicate to complex and creative forms of “language”. Text messaging continues to expand its definition as abbreviations, emojis (e‐•moj·ee·-zhe or e‐moh‐jee, e‐moh‐jee), and alphanumeric codes have emerged and become popularized. Text message language has grown out of the confines of mobile devices when status updates were limited to 140 characters or less. Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter provide platforms for this form of expression, which enables pseudo speech to be integrated into the daily cyber life of users.


The Future of Text Messaging


Text messaging has become an effective method for companies to engage with customers on a personal level. The use of text messaging allows companies to reach customers when they’re ready to be reached no matter where they are or what time it is (except for those pesky time zones). Texting is a form of communication in which text-based messages are exchanged over the Short Message Service (SMS) or Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), with control characters frequently included. It’s becoming more popular as a way to communicate with friends and family because it is easier than talking on the phone and can be better than email if you need an immediate response.


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