Sms: the history of the actual waste product sms, its triumph and its end

SMS: The history of the actual waste product SMS, its triumph and its endJust under 28 years ago, on 3. December 1992, the first text message was sent with the message "Merry Christmas" sends. Shortly afterwards, SMS became a popular means of communication. Now the classic text message is on the brink of extinction.

SMS: The history of the actual waste product SMS, its triumphal procession and its end

When engineer Neil Papworth used his PC to send early Christmas greetings to the cell phone of a manager at British telecom giant Vodafone in the early 1990s, he probably didn’t expect the short text messages to become so popular. Because already a little later the up to 160 characters long messages could also be sent between two cell phones.

When the first short message was transferred from Papworth via PC to a cell phone (an Orbitel TPU 901), there were no cell phones with which sending such a message was even possible yet. Shortly thereafter, however, these were produced in mass and the SMS developed as a breakthrough success. A veritable goldmine opened up for mobile communications providers: initially, an SMS was charged at 39 pfennigs, later at 19 cents. With many billions of text messages sent each year in Germany alone, a lucrative business for an actual waste product.

The origin of SMS

The idea of a Short Message Service, SMS for short, was already born in the 1980s as part of GSM standardization. With the short text message unused capacities of the mobile phone networks should be exhausted. Also, the length of 160 characters was set before the first message was sent. Why it became exactly this number of characters can be explained quite simply: Friedhelm Hillebrand, an employee of the then still existing Deutsche Bundespost, determined that an average postcard or telecommunication message contained less than 160 characters. The length of the SMS was based on this.

What is an SMS?

Strictly speaking, this abbreviation does not refer to the message itself, but merely to the service that makes this type of communication possible.

What is SMS pronounced?

The abbreviation stands for "Short Message Service", i.e. the short message service.


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How long will SMS still exist?

In 2012, the year of the success of text messages, more than 60 billion text messages were sent in Germany alone. Since then, however, the number is steadily decreasing – Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage and Co. are far more popular and offer more functions. Already in 2016 only 12.7 billion SMS were sent in Germany, since then the number has further decreased.

A successor to the SMS already exists and is called RCS, short for Rich Communication Service. So far, however, it has not been able to establish itself and has been lying unnoticed in the drawer for years. Google, however, is now taking the reins into its own hands and wants to finally help RCS achieve a breakthrough. But whether this works and when RCS is also possible in Germany, is still in the stars.

What is a voice SMS?

Sending text messages is not only possible between cell phones or smartphones. Likewise, SMS can be sent to a landline phone. Then the written message is read out to the recipient. This offers advantages, especially for visually impaired and older people.

Where to find my SMS?

Normally, the corresponding app is located on the home screen of the smartphone. If you can’t find it there, it may have been uninstalled or disabled. The settings will take you to a list of all installed applications (apps), which should also include the SMS app. If you can no longer find it there, it is very likely that it has been deleted or uninstalled. Then you can download a new application in the Play Store, which is not inferior to the actual preinstalled app in any way.

How to activate SMS?

If you insert a SIM card into a new smartphone, a short time later you will receive the configurations for this via SMS to activate the service. If this is not the case, you have to enter it manually. To do this, open the SMS app, go to the settings and enter the phone number of your short message center (SMSC) there at "Message center". The relevant information is included with the SIM card or can be found on the Internet.

Samsung: Where can I find SMS on my cell phone?

On Samsung smartphones equipped with the Android system, you will find the "Messages" function in the lower section of the home screen. In most cases, an envelope or a speech bubble serves as an icon here. When you start the application you get an overview of all short messages received so far.

To write an SMS yourself, select the pencil in the corner. Then search for the desired recipient in your contacts or enter the phone number manually. You can then compose and send the text.

Which SMS app for Android?

If you don’t want to use the pre-installed app or you uninstalled it by mistake, you can find some alternatives in the Play Store. Whatsapp is particularly popular, although this is not SMS, but messages that are transmitted over the Internet. If you want to stick to classic short messages, for example because the recipient does not have mobile Internet or does not use Whatsapp, you can also use apps such as Handcent SMS or chompSMS. With SMS Backup + you can back up messages and calls via your Gmail account.

Where can I find SMS on Huawei??

Also with Huawei, you first open the app "Messages", which can be found either on the homescreen or in the applications under Settings. After opening, you get an overview of all messages already received or sent. If you have problems sending and receiving SMS, first open the settings in the app, then go to "Advanced" and then select "SMS service number. Here you enter the phone number of your short message service.

Where do I find my SMS on the iPhone?

As with Android, you can also find the messaging app on your home screen on your iPhone. Open it to get an overview of sent and received messages. To write a short message yourself, select the pencil icon. Afterwards you search for the recipient from your contacts or enter a number manually. After that you can write the actual text and send it with "Send".

Indulge in a bit of nostalgia

Nearly three decades after its big breakthrough, text messaging’s wave of success is visibly waning. At the same time, there are actually hardly any reasons that speak against a classic text message. The messages do not require the Internet, nowadays also offer more than 160 characters and, on top of that, are free with many mobile phone providers as part of a flat rate. While the earlier boom is unlikely to return.

But as long as it is still possible, you can and should write classic text messages more often, before they are finally replaced by Whatsapp and other messenger services. Attention is also assured, as text messages are increasingly rare these days. When did you last write or receive an SMS?

Like a fish on a hook, these text messages

That it won’t go on forever, that’s clear. The competition has been so hard on SMS that it’s only a matter of time before the classic text message disappears from the scene (or from the homescreen). It’s like a fish on a hook, the short message that has actually already been caught and eaten, but nevertheless remains bravely on the hook. How much longer, remains to be seen.

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