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SMS History

Dmitry Gromov
05 June, 2018

Everybody likes informing people via SMS. It’s cheap, fast and affordable to even old-fashioned people, using analogue mobile phones. Everyone knows about SMS. Various individuals from everywhere throughout the world dedicate much time to getting and sending their messages. On and on nearly every odd SMS user neglect unbelievable SMS history, though. Wanna finally find it out? Here it is.

Interesting facts on SMS marketing

SMS history consists mainly of interesting facts that cannot possibly stay unknown if you’re a real SMS user. In 2018, such phenomena as bulk SMS messaging, advertising, mobile banking and other things seem to us more than common. However, it is logical that this was not always the case.

Slightly more than two decades ago, people did not suspect that text messages could densely integrate into their daily lives and become an integral part of the necessary communication with the modern world, both peer to peer & business.


Historical facts, the behavior of subscribers and the future trends are all the most interesting about SMS.

1. The first SMS is something the history of technology begins with. Neil Papworth is the man who sent the first SMS message ever. He was an employee of the British IT company Sema Group, which actually developed the Short Message Service (SMS) software for the telecommunications company Vodafone. Thus, the countdown began.

2. Neil Papworth wrote the very first SMS text: “Merry Christmas” from his computer and sent this text message to the technical director of Vodafone on the mobile phone Orbitel 901, huge and similar to a massive landline phones, and completely went down in history.

3. The first mass SMS- messaging, finally. It is unknown who and when exactly made the very first SMS messaging. However, we know for sure that mobile marketing as an integral part of the advertising strategy began to be actively used in Europe and Asia at the beginning of 2000s.

4. A decade after the first SMS was sent, the technology of sending short messages was spread all around the world, and by 2001 the Mobile Marketing Association and the Advertising Bureau had already become well-known and successful users of this marketing technique. Simply caught the right hype timely.

5. The content of the first mass SMS messaging did not differ much from the current one: advertising, item promotions, discounts, sales, gifts, etc. However, the messages were sent without the consent of subscribers. Of course, no one new about the inbound messaging at the time, neither cared of marketing refinements, and so on.

6. As in the case with E-mails, unauthorized or unwanted advertising via SMS was claimed equal to SPAM.

Present day SMS

SMS has been long conspicuous as a wellbeing standard. Nowadays, it is probably one of the most popular and simple technologies used by people all over the world. Even in the most underdeveloped countries, the most isolated in terms of the I-net coverage.

In Germany, for instance, SMS is compared to the official acts and conventions of senior government authorities, since Angela Merkel’s being a president.

Indeed, even SMS from NASA is accessible. With its assistance, you can get a warning on your cell phone each time the International Space Station flies over your home, for instance. That is much of fun!

Today, SMS opens up new skylines for applications developing. SMS-correspondence is efficient and directed between different individuals, as well as between various types of gadgets (PCs). Alongside, SMS these days is one of those advancements, able to work in different frameworks of system correspondence. Machine to machine correspondence or (M2M) also is well adjusted.

Such M2M arrangements upgrade business and exclusively diminish costs for devices, allowing SMS gateways for sending bulk SMS messages. In the meantime, the extent of M2M usage is basically boundless: accounts, transport, pharmacology, security frameworks, farming and modern industrial complexes, and considerably more.

Future Trends

SMS has recently turned 25. Pretty, old, eh? How relevant is SMS in 2018? Looking at the SMS service in your phone, you can easily see that text messages are still relevant, even for P2P. Perhaps, it’s more than just text messaging technology, but rather one of the greatest human inventions, and already a veteran of the mobile communication industry.

Despite, the numerous contradictory studies and inconsistent data, almost all of SMS still have an open rate of more than 90%. When it comes to SMS, the majority are open during the first three minutes. Despite these powerful indicators, most companies do not use text messages to communicate with their customers. Ans that’s a pity, because this is also a powerful marketing tool.

They say the future of SMS and text messaging is after conversion and interaction with customers. And they’re right.

The future of SMS the way we know it may be, however, predetermined by the emergence and development of Rich Communication Services (RCS).

The main goal of the RCS concept, promoted by the GSMA Association was the mobile operators’ entry into the market of multimedia services based on the SIP protocol. The first RCS Inter-operational solutions were developed under the JOYN brand as an alternative to IP communications services offered by third-party companies (OTTs) and had already taken away a significant portion of revenues from the basic telecommunication services (VoIP and messaging) from traditional operators. Thus, according to Informa Telecoms & Media, the aggregate decrease in revenues of cellular operators from the use of third-party IP services by their subscribers in Western and Eastern Europe had reached 3.9 and 1.6% already back in 2012.

SMS Guiness Records

There are also many funny and astounding facts connected with the usage of texting platform. A lot of them are recorded in the Book of Guinness Record.

Melissa Thomson managed to set a record of writing messages on a mobile phone for speed, by sending SMS of 26 words in only 25 seconds!

Thus, Melissa managed to circumvent the previous world record of the Guinness Book of Records by writing text messages for 9.6 seconds and establish the ultimate record for speed SMS dialing.

Franklin Page, another record holder for speed SMS dialing on the Swype keyboard managed to break records in a usual way – that is, on the phone and with the help of hands. It took him only 35.54 seconds to print a phrase of 160 characters. We hope he had used text message tester before having sent this message 🙂

There is another interesting case of SMS. A paralyzed American, Hank Torres, has gone even far and was included in the Guinness Book of World Records as a man who quickly managed to dial SMS without using his hands at all!

Torres suffers from quadriplegia – paralysis of all four limbs. Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, is thusly named because it affects all four limbs, plus the torso (quad originates from the Latin word for four).

He became disabled as a result of a 30 year old trauma, during hang-gliding sessions. He could raise and lower his hands, but he is not able to perform precise movements with his fingers. So, to dial the message, it was a real challenge for Torres, who used the Swype keyboard and TrackerPro, a device that tracks the head movements.

The text of 160 characters he managed to type in 83.9 seconds. Torres works as an engineer and uses the Swype keyboard to write explanatory notes to his projects, etc. Live and learn, live and learn.

Any other records?

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