One of the most commonly used functions of every modern mobile phone is sending text SMS messages, in 2012 celebrated its 20th birthday. It all started on December 3, 1992, when 22-year-old Neil Papworth, an engineer from Great Britain, typed “Merry Christmas” to Richard Jarvis from Vodafone on his computer. Jarvis received this message on his Orbitel 901 mobile phone, but could not respond to this message, because at that time this possibility (actually technology) did not exist. Two years later, Nokia introduced this option on its mobile phone.
Initially, SMS messages could only be sent to people who used the same operator network and launching the T9 predictive text input option only accelerated the general acceptance of SMS messages. While sending messages was initially free, operators quickly realized that the earning potential of SMS (short for Short Message Service) was huge, and soon this service in England began to be charged (the price was around 16 US cents).
With about a billion messages per month (in the UK alone) until 2001, this brought operators $160 million in revenue. According to some statistics, the average American mobile phone user receives about 357 messages per month, compared to 204 phone calls.
SMS messages soon brought a completely new language, ie SMS slang, and numerous abbreviations that became generally accepted and used on a daily basis, such as LOL (Laughing out loud and OMG), and these words were believed or not. in the Oxford English Dictionary. According to some information, in some regions, the use of SMS messages is in a phase of decline.
According to the operator Sonera, based in Finland, the number of text messages sent for Christmas 2010 was 10.9 million, while the number of messages sent on the same day in 2011 was 8.5 million. The number of messages sent for Christmas in Hong Kong fell by 14%. In other countries such as Spain, the Netherlands, and Australia, messaging is also declining.
The reason for this drop in the number of SMS messages, some analysts attribute the increasing use of computer networks like BlackBerry’s BBM service or apps like WhatsApp. Benedict Evans, a telephone technology analyst, counted 25 similar free apps totaling 2.5 billion connected members. He states that ten of these networks have over 100 million users, without 60 million users of the BBM network. Even when you do not have mobile network support, these applications will deliver your message to the recipient.
SMS messages have so far brought mobile operators around the world a profit of about 500 billion dollars, and it is predicted that by 2019 they will bring another Trillion (it is difficult to say, let alone count zeros). Eventually, operators will start adjusting prices (we understood this as a price increase) because, according to Evans, it is cheaper for operators to send voice than data. Either way, text messages have come a long way in evolution, and they have a long way to go in the future.