Counterclockwise: the rise of texting

10

The first SMS was sent on December 3 1992 – it read “Merry Christmas”. It was a test message sent from a computer, the first commercial service would open for business the following year.

SMS quickly become the glue that holds the world together. Trillions of messages are sent every year and they range from quick words between friends through bank notifications of money transfers to paying for parking.

The system is pretty limited – it supports messages up to 160 characters. And those characters are mostly limited to the Latin alphabet plus some diacritics. Other alphabets are…

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