Beginning of the Short Message Service

Short Message Service (SMS) is a text messaging service component of most telephone, World Wide Web, and mobile telephony systems. It uses standardized communication protocols to enable fixed line / landline or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages. SMS was the most widely used data application, with an estimated 3.5 billion active users, or about 80% of all mobile phone subscribers, at the end of 2010.

Initial Development

The SMS concept was developed in the Franco-German GSM cooperation in 1984 by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert. The GSM is optimized for telephony, since this was identified as its main application. The key idea for SMS was to use this telephone-optimized system, and to transport messages on the signalling paths needed to control the telephone traffic during periods when no signalling traffic existed. In this way, unused resources in the system could be used to transport messages at minimal cost. However, it was necessary to limit the length of the messages to 128 bytes (later improved to 160 seven-bit characters) so that the messages could fit into the existing signalling formats. Based on his personal observations and on analysis of the typical lengths of postcard and Telex messages, Hillebrand argued that 160 characters was sufficient to express most messages succinctly.

Early Development

The first proposal which initiated the development of SMS was made by a contribution of Germany and France into the GSM group meeting in February 1985 in Oslo. This proposal was further elaborated in GSM subgroup WP1 Services (Chairman Martine Alvernhe, France Telecom) based on a contribution from Germany. There were also initial discussions in the subgroup WP3 network aspects chaired by Jan Audestad (Telenor). The result was approved by the main GSM group in a June ’85 document which was distributed to industry. The input documents on SMS had been prepared by Friedhelm Hillebrand (Deutsche Telekom) with contributions from Bernard Ghillebaert (France Télécom). The definition that Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert brought into GSM called for the provision of a message transmission service of alphanumeric messages to mobile users “with acknowledgement capabilities”. The last three words transformed SMS into something much more useful than the prevailing messaging paging that some in GSM might have had in mind.

Early implementations

The first SMS message was sent over the Vodafone GSM network in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1992, from Neil Papworth of Sema Group (now Mavenir Systems) using a personal computer to Richard Jarvis of Vodafone using an Orbitel 901 handset. The text of the message was “Merry Christmas.

The first commercial deployment of a short message service center (SMSC) was by Aldiscon part of Logica (now part of Acision) with Telia (now TeliaSonera) in Sweden in 1993, followed by Fleet Call (now Nextel) in the US, Telenor in Norway[citation needed] and BT Cellnet (now O2 UK)[citation needed] later in 1993. All first installations of SMS Gateways were for network notifications sent to mobile phones, usually to inform of voice mail messages.

The first commercially sold SMS service was offered to consumers, as a person-to-person text messaging service by Radiolinja (now part of Elisa) in Finland in 1993. Most early GSM mobile phone handsets did not support the ability to send SMS text messages, and Nokia was the only handset manufacturer whose total GSM phone line in 1993 supported user-sending of SMS text messages. According to Matti Makkonen, the inventor of SMS text messages, Nokia 2010, which was released in January 1994, was the first mobile phone to support composing SMSes easily.

SMS Today

In 2010, 6.1 trillion (6.1 × 1012) SMS text messages were sent. This translates into an average of 193,000 SMS per second. SMS has become a huge commercial industry, earning $114.6 billion globally in 2010. The global average price for an SMS message is US$0.11, while mobile networks charge each other interconnect fees of at least US$0.04 when connecting between different phone networks.

In 2015, the actual cost of sending an SMS in Australia was found to be $0.00016 per SMS.

In 2014, Caktus Group developed the world’s first SMS-based voter registration system in Libya. So far, more than 1.5 million people have registered using that system, providing Libyan voters with unprecedented access to the democratic process.

While SMS is still a growing market, traditional SMS is becoming increasingly challenged by alternative messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Viber available on smart phones with data connections, especially in Western countries where these services are growing in popularity. It has been reported that over 97% of smart phone owners use alternative messaging services at least once a day. Enterprise SMS-messaging also known as application-to-peer messaging (A2P Messaging) or 2-way SMS, continue to grow steadily at a rate of 4% annually. Enterprise SMS applications are primarily focused on CRM and delivering highly targeted service messages such as parcel-delivery alerts, real-time notification of credit/debit card purchase confirmations to protect against fraud, and appointment confirmations. Another primary source of growing A2P message volumes is two-step verification (alternatively referred to as 2-factor authentication) processes whereby users are delivered a one-time passcode over SMS and then are asked to enter that passcode online in order to verify their identity.

Send Text Messages Free – 5 Free SMS Sites Reviewed

Free text messaging sites have been around since before 2000.

In that time, some good (and some bad) free SMS services have come and gone! Thankfully, there are still hundreds of ways you can do free web SMS. But what follows is a short, up-to-date list of 5 recommended free SMS sites, reviewed.

Which mean you can now confidently send text messages free whether you live in USA, UK, India, Pakistan, or anywhere in the world!

So without further ado, here goes with my personal choice of great ways to ‘send text message from computer’, wherever you live in the world…

1. TextYourBuddy.com – USA

Many of the free text messaging sites in America, USA, work by allowing you to send e-mail to SMS. And I believe that’s how the popular TextYourBuddy.com works too. So this just means you need to know the mobile phone network of the person you’re sending your text message to.

You need to register to use TextYourBuddy.com, but this means you can receive replies online too. And you can also store your favourite contacts in an address book. Current limit on texts is 50 SMS per month.

TextYourBuddy.com also works for other countries in the world, too, it seems.

2. eSeMeS.co.uk – UK

This is quite a new free SMS service, online in 2010 I think. It’s free for UK users only (but you can send cheap SMS to other parts of the world if you buy credits). This is an easy-to-use and fast way to send free SMS messages to UK (British) mobile phone users.

No registration is required to use this service.

Let’s hope eSeMeS.co.uk sticks around because it’s easily one of the best, most reliable SMS sites out there right now.

3. 160By2 – India*

Sending text messages in India is very popular. Which means there are many, many free SMS text messaging sites and services that allow you to send free texts in India.

One of the best free text messaging services – and one that’s been around since 2007 – is 160by2.com. You need to register, but it allows you to send several messages per day. There’s even a mobile app (application) that lets you send free SMS via your phone.

* Note: 160by2.com also works if you want to send free messages to Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Philippines, and Malaysia

4. LoOp – Pakistan

This simple-to-use site allows you to send free SMS to any Mobile network in Pakistan; i.e. to Warid, Ufone, Zong, Mobilink and Telenor. Text messages can be up to 130 characters in length only.

Simple as that, really. It does look to have been upgraded, recently, to allow people to send and receive free text messages even if you don’t live in Pakistan. This has not been tested at time of writing, though.

5. SMScity.nl – Worldwide

If none of the free web SMS sites listed are of use to you, because you live in a country not listed so far, then SMScity.nl is the free SMS service for you.

And that’s because it allows you to send SMS messages free wherever you live. You can only send a few free SMS messages per day, but it is possible to earn extra free SMS credits if necessary.

So there you have it – some of the best sites to send text messages free online, briefly reviewed, including countries like USA, UK, India, Pakistan and worldwide.

Here’s to you and happy online texting to your friends and family whatever part of the world you (and they) live in.

Do’s and Don’ts of Sending an SMS

We all get hundreds of messages in a day, don’t we? From promotional offers to notifications, there is a lot of information that flows in on a daily basis. Little do we realize that sending an SMS requires you to follow certain etiquettes else it could actually be perceived as an offence. Depending on the purpose of sending the message, you need to define the dos and don’ts of your SMS as well. This may not be applicable to all the personal messaging that happens regularly. But, you have to practice the etiquettes when it comes to sending commercial SMS’s. While there is no rule book to give you the proper guidance, we can surely help you with a few suggestions.

1. Please see the time

The SMS will reach the destined receiver within a matter of few minutes. However that does not empower you to send the message at any time during the day. Ideally, you should send the SMS at a time your receiver is most likely to read it. Don’t get us wrong, we are not asking you to predict the time when your receiver reads the SMS. Instead, you have to identify the generic time frame when mobile users are relatively free and therefore most likely to read the SMS. Also, strictly avoid sending your SMS’s at unearthly hours else people are guaranteed to blacklist you.

2. Don’t send lengthy messages

The very name SMS suggests that it is a short messaging service. However, people tend to misunderstand this acronym and end up sending really long messages from their mobiles. We would recommend you to refrain from sending such practices. Simply convey the gist of the story highlighting all the important details and your job is done. Once you have aroused the interest of the receiver, he or she will happily call you to get more information on the subject, if they want to enquire further.

3. State a clear point of action

People reading the SMS’s don’t have the spare time to analyze your text and identify the key message. Therefore, it is best advised to keep your message short as well as simple. Also, always conclude with a reliable point of contact or a call to action gesture wherein you can give a representative’s phone number or a website address. This will ensure that people who are reading your SMS can easily get in touch with you for any queries pertaining to the details mentioned in the message.