Short Message Service (SMS) Turns 20

SMS or Short Message Service  just celebrated its 20th birthday. It was twenty years ago on December 03, 1992 the first text message was sent. A 22 years old British engineer, sent the first ever text message saying “Merry Christmas” twenty years ago. This first message was sent to an Orbitel 901 mobile phone. This first SMS sent 20 years ago brought a revolution in the mode of communication.

Short Message Service (SMS) gained extreme popularity right from its inception but it somewhat seems to be past its prime. According to the stats around 150 billion text messages were sent in 2011 which followed a decline in 2012.

OfCom reports that ‘Short Message Service’ saw its first decline in first half of 2012 in UK. Fourth quarter of 2011 recorded 39.7 billion text messages sent which declined to 38.5 billion in second quarter.

The major reason of decline in SMS popularity was the free messaging services like Imessage and Whatsapp and the affordable multimedia devices with internet access.

James Thickett, research director OfCom said

“For the first time in the history of mobile phones, SMS volumes are showing signs of decline. However the availability of a wider range of communications tools like instant messaging and social networking sites mean that people might be sending fewer SMS messages, but they are ‘texting’ more than ever before.”

However, Informa analysts predict that popularity of SMS will rise again.

A spokesperson from Informa said,

“Informa forecasts that global SMS traffic will increase to 6.7 trillion messages, representing a year-on-year increase of 13.6 [percent], up from 5.9 trillion messages in 2011. That global growth is set to continue. Informa forecasts SMS traffic will total 9.4 trillion messages in 2016, and will generate $127bn in revenues.”

Well, let’s see how the things turn up in future. All we can say is: “Happy 20th Birthday SMS”.

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Shiwangi Peswani is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about computers and the Internet. While focusing on and writing on technology topics, her varied skills and experience enables her to write on any topics which may interest her.