A Brit called Neil Papworth sent the first-ever mobile phone text message on December 3rd 1992, meaning that SMS is celebrating its 20th birthday today.

Using a computer, the engineer sent 'Merry Christmas' to an Orbitel 901 handset, marking a milestone in the history of technology.

Although it took a while to catch on, SMS eventually became an extremely popular form of communication, eventually taking over the phone call.

When mobile phones were first becoming popular, users paid around ten pence to send a 160-character message to friends and family.

The practice is now so prevalent that the majority of telecommunication network contracts offer the customer unlimited usage.

According to Ofcom, the average UK consumer now sends 50 texts per day, and 150 million messages were sent throughout 2011 in the nation.

However, this method of communication is beginning to decline – people increasingly use their smartphones to stay in contact using instant messaging applications, social networks and email.

Posted by Samantha Green

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Written by Mazuma

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