On Dec 3, 1992, British software engineer Neil Papworth sent the world's first ever text message. It was to an executive at Vodafone, saying "Merry Christmas".
The Short Message Service (SMS) has turned 25 today. On Dec 3, 1992, the first SMS was sent. As it grew in popularity, the "short message service" gave mobile phone operators millions in credits.
SMS was a Franco-German development.
25 years ago, cell phones could not send or receive short messages. Consequently, the first SMS was sent by computer, not the mobile phone. The text, sent between British Vodafone technicians testing the prototype SMS system, read: "Merry Christmas."
Technicians found that nearly all such communications were 160 characters or less in length. That's how the maximum length of SMS messages was decided on. As mobile phones and SMS spread rapidly in the mid-1990s, big profits resulted for telecom firms. And even in the age of its Internet successors, SMS lives on.