December 3 is an important day in the world of technology because on this day 30 years ago, the first text message was sent to a mobile phone. The SMS (Short Message Service) – as it came to be known later – was sent by a Vodafone engineer in Berkshire in the United Kingdom, according to a report in the BBC.
Neil Papworth, a software programmer sent the message to one of the firm’s bosses, Richard Jarvis. It is reported that Mr Jarvis was at a Christmas party so Mr Papworth did not get a reply. It was sent to test the technology and said “Merry Christmas.”
The outlet further says that Mr Jarvis’ phone was a brand-new Orbitel 901, and weighed 2.1 kilograms.
As reported by Vodafone, Neil said, “In 1992, I had no idea just how popular texting would become, and that this would give rise to emojis and messaging apps used by millions. I only recently told my children that I sent that first text. Looking back with hindsight, it’s clearer to see that the Christmas message I sent was a pivotal moment in mobile history.”
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Originally, an SMS could only be text with a maximum length of 160 characters. The concept was born in the early 1980s, but it took nearly ten years before it was delivered to a mobile device.
As per the outlet, at its peak, phone users sent billions of SMS messages each year, and the term “texting” entered the dictionary in 2010. Although the service is still in use, internet-based, encrypted messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and iMessage have become far more popular.
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