First Text Message Sent


First Text Message Sent

Newbury, Berkshire The 3rd of December 1992 AD

If you had to guess the answer to the question where was the first SMS sent you’d maybe suggest Silicon Valley in California; or maybe Nokia’s offices in Finland (a Finn did come up with the original concept, but didn’t bother to patent the idea). The correct reply is Newbury in Berkshire.
The recipient was a director of Vodaphone attending a staff Christmas party on December 3 - these techies like to party hard, except that the sender was 22 year old engineer Neil Papworth, still at his computer which he used to send the message.
That Finnish engineer who didn’t think it worthwhile patenting the idea may be having a rethink. In 2010 the worldwide market for texts was worth around Ł75 billion, with something approaching 200,000 sent every second (of which my son receives about half).
SMS is an efficient method of communication, providing the messages are not ignored of course. And cheap, though instant messaging via Imessage and others of that ilk is overtaking the technology – texts are so last year. It has also been blamed for numerous contemporary evils: kids writing their exams in text-speak; the wrecking of thumb muscles through repetitive strain; and more seriously innumerable road accidents where idiots think it’s a brilliant idea to text while driving – or riding bikes and motorcycles.
In case you were wondering, the message Neil Papworth sent read ‘Happy Christmas.’ Ah. Today his equivalent would doubtless resort to ‘hp xms’ or something similarly nasty – lol gr8 cu l8r.

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