20 years of text messages

It has been 20 years since the first text message was sent.

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Celebrating 20 years of text messaging

It's a special anniversary today - twenty years since communication changed for ever - with the birth of the text message.

We send hundreds of the short messages to each other every year, but despite the predicted demise of the text, one Welsh communications expert says it's here to stay.

Rob Osborne has been to Newport to see how much we love to text.


Text messaging: ten things you didn't know

  • The first 'SMS' text message was sent by 22-year-old Neil Papworth, who used his computer to send a 'Merry Christmas' text to a colleague's mobile phone on December 3 1992.
  • The average person in the UK sends 50 texts a week.
  • 12-15 years olds send around 193 messages a week.
  • A single text message contains a maximum of 140 bytes of data. Compare that to an audio CD, which contains up to 700,000,000 bytes (700MB).
  • The most popular kind of 'predictive' texting - T9 - was introduced in 1995.
  • 1999 saw the first time people could send messages to those on rival networks.

The Guinness World Record holder for texting speed is Norways's Sonja Kristiansen.

She typed this message in 37.28 seconds: "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality, they seldom attack a human."

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