LONDON – It may be hard to believe but sending text messages was first invented almost 20 years ago on December 3 1982.
NDJ World | Published: Nov 28 2012 High Tech
On that date software developer Neil Papworth used his computer to send an early Christmas message to a manager’s cellphone at the British telecom company Vodafone.
Since then text messaging has taken the world by storm. In 2011, six billion text messages per day were transmitted in the United States. Given that statistic it comes as no surprise that mobile companies have found a cash cow in text messaging.
But with the birth of smartphones, allowing users the send messages over the internet, and because of sites and apps like Facebook, iMessage, WhatsApp and other smartphone apps, which allow users to send text messages free of charge, popularity of phone texting has seen a decline in recent years.
Additionally, these apps do not limit the user to a maximum 160 character text message when sending it from a cellphone.
Market research company ‘Ovum’ estimates that mobile companies lost $US14 billion in text messaging revenue in 2011 because of new apps and internet access.
The company predicts that by 2016 the mobile sector will see a decline in text messaging revenue reaching $US54 billion.
Of course cell phone service providers aren’t sitting on the laurels and are actively looking for alternative methods to get most of that ‘lost revenue’ back.
One such method to offset the losses is service providers joining the multi-media service ‘Joyn‘, which allows cellphone users to conduct video telephone conferences.
The company states that text messaging is a relic not because it was invented in the 1980s but because of its limitation of sending maximum 160 characters, it is a mere drop in what smartphones are capable of doing today.
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