In the United Kingdom, on December 3, 1992, test engineer Neil Papworth from Sema sent the world’s first SMS to a phone that was received by Vodafone CEO Richard Jarvis. The first commercial short message service network was launched in Finland next year.
The development of the European standard for digital cellular voice communications began in 1983, when the European Conference of Postal and Communications Administrations (CEPT) established the Groupe Special Mobile Committee (GSM) with a corresponding technical center in Paris. Five years later, in Copenhagen, 15 representatives from 13 European countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development and implementation of a common cellular telephone system across Europe, and specific rules were adopted in the EU that made GSM a mandatory standard.
The idea of text messaging on the GSM network originated in 1985 and was developed by a Franco-German group of engineers, who was invited to create a special alphanumeric messaging service “with confirmation capabilities”. In order to minimize the load on telecommunication networks, it was planned to transmit them during periods of absence of voice traffic, which made it possible to limit the length of messages to 128 bytes (later the limit was increased to 160 seven-byte characters). In February 1987, the first technical specification of GSM communication under the reserved European Commission (similar to the government in the EU) frequency 900 MHz was released and within 38 weeks the corresponding network was deployed in 26 countries of Europe. In November of the same year, the development of an appropriate standard for SMS was completed.
In 1989, the Groupe Special Mobile committee was transferred from CEPT to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), which overseen the practical implementation of the digital cellular voice communications project. The first call to the GSM network was made on March 27, 1991, in the network of Finnish operator Radiolinja (now part of Elisa), which was the first in Europe to start commercial customer service on 1 July.
The first SMS was sent on December 3, 1992 – 22-year-old test engineer Neil Papworth of Sema (now Mavenir Systems), based in Newbury, Berkshire, sent a “Happy Christmas” message from his computer to Vodafone CEO Richard Jarvis, who received it at his London office at Orbitel 901, the first GSM-certified. After 9 days, the Finnish company Nokia announced the release of the Nokia 1011, the first mass-produced phone and the first capable of sending and receiving SMS.
The first commercial short message service network was launched in 1993 by the Swedish company Telia (now TeliaSonera), but only in the form of customer service notification. The first service to send SMS messages between users was implemented in the same year by Finnish Radiolinja.
Subsequently, the rather inconvenient message typing system by repeatedly pressing the buttons to select the appropriate character was supplemented with US patented T9 intelligent text technology, which used a dictionary and allowed to select the most common words by the press of a single key. In 1997, Nokia released the first smartphone – the 9000i Communicator had a color screen that was traditional for computers with a QWERTY keyboard, an Internet browser, and could process images and send and receive email.
Smartphone communication capabilities have revolutionized in 2007 with the release of Apple’s iPhone, which combines the capabilities of a phone, player and internet tablet with a touch screen and a virtual keyboard with automatic spell-check and correction, intelligent text technology and the ability to learn new words.