The first text message was sent 20 years ago today

The first text message was sent 20 years ago today. Neil Papworth who at the time was working for a company called Sema Group Telecoms. According to Papworth’s website he notes that “Since mobile phones didn’t yet have keyboards, I typed the message out on a PC to a Orbitel 901 handset. It read, ‘Merry Christmas,’ and I sent it to Richard Jarvis of Vodafone, who was enjoying his office Christmas party at the time.”

Since this momentous date texting has become one of the major forms of communication. Billions of LOL, OMG, TTYL’s have been sent and have also spawned several companies to produce texting apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage, Viber, BBM, Kik, and Facebook Messenger. According to a report by Informa Telecoms & Media they are expecting the total number of person-to-person texts to hit 6.7 trillion by the end of this year. In addition, Informa is also forecasting the trend to continue into 2016 where the total number of texts will reach 9.4 trillion, plus generate $127 billion (USD) in global revenues.

As for us Canadians, texting has certainly increased over the past 20 years. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) reported that in 2011 Canadians sent a total of 78 billion text messages and this year we could top 100 billion texts.