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, December 05, 2007

Happy Birthday SMS!

SMS has had such a huge impact and become so pervasive in such a short period of time that it is hard to believe that it is just 15 years since the first ever SMS was sent. The party to celebrate the event in London brought together both the sender and receiver of that historic first SMS.

On 3rd December 1992 a young engineer at Airwide Solutions, Neil Papworth, sent the world's first ever commercial text message to Vodafone Director Richard Jarvis at a staff Christmas party. Although text messaging has often been accused of causing irreparable damage to the English language, this did not start with the first message which was simply 'Happy Christmas'.

Intended originally as a pager service, it was some years before users discovered they could send SMS to each other. Neil Papworth, still working for Airwide, was then working for the company as a test engineer and today is Principle Software Engineer said “I was a young engineer working on new communications technologies. We thought SMS was a clever way for a company’s staff to send simple messages to one another. I’d never have predicted that it would spread into the consumer world and become what it is today. At the time it didn’t seem like a big deal.”

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