Messaging Blues

The Magic of Messaging: This blog contains stuff related to E-Mail, SMS,Text Messaging, Instant messaging, MMS etc (Mobile/Internet/Wireless/Text/IM)

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

History Of SMS.

As for most other services and modules of functionality of the GSM system, no individual can claim the fatherhood of SMS. The idea of adding text messaging to the services of mobile users was latent in many communities of mobile communication services at the beginning of the 1980s. Experts from several of those communities contributed in the discussions on which should be the GSM services. Most thought of SMS as a means to alert the individual mobile user e.g. on incoming voice mail, whereas others had more sophisticated applications in their minds, e.g. telemetry. However, few believed that SMS would be used as a means for sending text messages from a mobile user to another. One factor in the takeup of SMS was that operators were slow to eliminate billing fraud which was possible by changing SMSC settings on individual handsets to the SMSC's of other operators. Over time, this issue was eliminated by switch-billing instead of billing at the SMSC and by new features within SMSC's to allow blocking of foreign mobile users sending messages through it.

As early as February 1985, after having already been discussed in GSM subgroup WP3, chaired by J Audestad, SMS was considered in the main GSM group as a possible service for the new digital cellular system. In GSM document 'Services and Facilities to be provided in the GSM System' (GSM Doc 28/85 rev2, June 1985), both mobile originated and mobile terminated, including point-to-point and point-to-multipoint, short messages appear on the table of GSM teleservices.

The discussions on the GSM services were then concluded in e.g. the recommendation GSM 02.03 'TeleServices supported by a GSM PLMN'. Here, a rudimentary description of the three services 1) Short message Mobile Terminated / Point-to-Point, 2) Short message Mobile Originated / Point-to-Point and 3) Short message Cell Broadcast was given. This was handed over to a new GSM body called IDEG (the Implementation of Data and Telematic Services Experts Group), which had its kickoff in May 1987 under the chairmanship of Friedhelm Hillebrand. The technical standard known today was largely created by IDEG (later WP4) as of the two recommendations GSM 03.40 (the two point-to-point services merged together) and GSM 03.41 (cell broadcast).

The first commercial short message was sent on 3 December 1992 by Neil Papworth of Sema Group from a personal computer to Richard Jarvis of Vodafone on the Vodafone GSM network in the United Kingdom.

SMS was originally designed as part of GSM, but is now available on a wide range of networks, including 3G networks. However, not all text messaging systems use SMS, and some notable alternate implementations of the concept include J-Phone's SkyMail and NTT Docomo's Short Mail, both in Japan. E-mail messaging from phones, as popularized by NTT Docomo's i-mode and the RIM BlackBerry, also typically use standard mail protocols such as SMTP over TCP/IP.