Text Messages Are Now 30 Years Old – Here Is What The First-Ever SMS Said

The date of December 3 is significant in the realm of technology since it was on this date 30 years ago that the first text message was sent to a mobile phone. As it became known afterward, the SMS (Short Message Service) was transmitted by a Vodafone engineer in Berkshire, England.

Neil Papworth, a software programmer, forwarded the message to Richard Jarvis, one of the firm’s executives. But, unfortunately, Mr. Jarvis was said to be at a Christmas party. Therefore Mr. Papworth did not receive a reply. Instead, it was sent to put the technology to the test and said, “Merry Christmas.”

Mr. Jarvis’ phone at that time was a brand-new Orbitel 901.

“I had no idea how popular texting would become in 1992 or that it would give rise to emojis and messaging apps used by millions. I only recently informed my children that I had sent the first text message. With hindsight, it’s evident that the Christmas message I delivered was a defining moment in mobile history,” said Neil, as reported by Vodafone.

Initially, an SMS could only be texted up to 160 characters long. The idea was born in the early 1980s, but it took nearly ten years to make it to a mobile device. Nevertheless, according to reports, phone users transmitted billions of SMS messages per year at their peak, and the term “texting” entered the dictionary in 2010.

Although SMS is still in use, internet-based, encrypted messaging alternatives like WhatsApp and iMessage have grown in popularity.

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