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The first mobile phone call was widely recognised to have been made on 3rd April 1973 by Martin Cooper, a Motorola employee in New York, on a Motorola DynaTAC.
The first SMS message wasn’t sent until many years later, 31st December 1992, by engineer Neil Papworth to Richard Jarvis of Vodafone. It read "Merry Christmas," and Jarvis had no way of replying.
The first commercial SMS service was launched in Sweden by Telia in 1993.
In 1994 Vodafone finally launched SMS messaging in the UK. At the time texts were free, but only to users on the same network.
Full cross-network compatibility for SMS (between Vodafone, Cellnet, One-2-One and Orange) was not finalised until 1999, when charging started across networks.
By January 2001, a billion texts per month were being sent in the UK.
There are now 82.5 million mobile subscribers in the UK
The average UK consumer now sends 50 texts per week, with over 150 billion text messages sent in 2011.
According to Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2012, 96% of 16-24s are using some form of text based application on a daily basis to communicate with friends and family; with 90% using texts.
Studies by Nielsen Mobile indicate 97% of mobile subscribers will read an SMS (text) message within 15 minutes of receiving it; 84 percent will respond within 1 hour.
Juniper Research states that “SMS will continue to dominate the mobile messaging market for the next five years in terms of traffic: this type of messaging is well-established in the mobile market, with near ubiquity of availability on mobile handsets and high levels of adoption.”
According to Forrester Research (and Mobile Marketer), B2B mobile marketing in the States will grow from $26M in 2009 to $106M in 2014
30-50 messages can be sent per second (144,000 messages in an hour) when using M:Science’s SMS Web Service.
92% of UK adults own a mobile phone, all of which are capable of receiving SMS messages wherever they are in the world.