Who Invented Texting?

Friedhelm Hillebrand, a German engineer and a technical writer came up with his idea of text messaging in 1985. He carried out his own investigation and from them he decided to attach a 160 character limit to the text messages. One of the two main arguments was this: most of the post card messages consisted of less than 150 characters. It wasn’t easy for the inventor to convince the industry magnates that the 160 character limit would work.

textingThe first gleam of hope came when Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) decided to set standards for non-voice services. The inventor along with his group presented his idea to the committee and in 1986 the committee decreed that all cellular carriers must support the short-messaging service (SMS). One of the main reasons for limiting the number of characters was the implementation costs. Finally, the first SMS was sent via Vodafone network by Neil Papworth, a 22-year-old engineer, for testing purposes in 1992.

There were other problems to be encountered. The mobile keypad had fewer keys and the message was cumbersome to write. The T9 Dictionary software was invented, which was of great help. The SMSs didn’t take the world by storm when they were launched. It took some years but within a decade, people were texting more than they were phoning!

Category: Inventions

2 Comments on “Who Invented Texting?”


tara desanti wrote:

what an amazing invention !!!!!!

ann marie bhajman wrote:

Thank you for the invention….so amazing…just makes one wonder how humans managed long ago. We in the new age adapts to new inventions.. All this technology and humans are still unhappy and fighting…they are not thank full for the little gifts in life…once again thank you.

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