25 years ago, British engineer Neil Papworth sent the very first SMS from a computer to a mobile phone. Since then, SMS has become a firm part of our everyday communication – and it’s still going strong. Every MINUTE, more than 15,000,000 text messages are sent out worldwide!
Here are some interesting facts about SMS:
The idea for SMS was already born in 1984 by Finnish Matti Makkonen who was then working for Nokia. As he was not really convinced this was a patentable invention, he did not apply for a patent – he did not earn a single penny with his innovation.
Finally, on 3rd December 1992, it was Neil Papworth who sent the first SMS, simply saying “Merry Christmas” to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis. At that time, it was only possible to send an SMS from a computer to a phone. Sending an SMS from phone to phone and through different networks was first adapted in the late 90’s.
The famous SMS “beep” for incoming text messages from Nokia is actually Morse code for “SMS”.
As one SMS is limited to 160 characters and SMS flat rates did not exist at the beginning, people became creative: They created a new language, shortening words and sentences as much as possible, to get everything into a single SMS. This was the hour of birth for several short codes that are still used all over the world.
In Malaysia, text messages like SMS are considered to be just another form of writing and thus approved for formal notices. Since 2003, it has been legal for a Muslim man to divorce his wife by only sending an SMS. In order to do so, he has to send the corresponding SMS three times.