SMS celebrates 15th anniversary

Posted by Mark Raby

London (England) - 15 years ago the first recorded cell phone text message was sent, to an employee at Euro mobile service provider Vodafone with the message "Happy Christmas".

Airwide Solutions, which helped pioneer the technology, claims it was the first message to be sent via the mobile GSM airwaves.  15 years ago in the first week of December, Airwide engineer Neil Papworth sent the test message to Vodafone's Richard Jarvis.

Now, according to the BBC, British people are sending SMS messages at the rate of one billion per week.  In the US, Verizon alone claims around 10 billion every month.

Text messages have also become useful in areas other than just idle chatting.  In Europe, Vodafone has partnerships with governmental organizations to send SMS reminders to registered blood donors when there is an elevated need for donations.  It has also become a controversial medium in the courts as various cases continue to set precedents for the legitimacy of text messages as evidence.

No matter how you slice it, SMS has come a long way from a simple medium used to exchange holiday greetings between tech heads.