Today is the 20th anniversary of the Short Message Service used for sending 160-character messages via mobile phone networks. The first official SMS message was sent on this day in 1992, when an Sema Group engineer named Neil Papworth sent a text message from a computer to the Orbitel 901 mobile phone being used by Richard Jarvis of Vodafone UK. The message simply said ‘Merry Christmas’.
SMS had been devised some years earlier; Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen is credited with creating the initial concept in 1984.
Innovation, legislation and anticipation
Mark Bridge writes:
As the end of the year approaches, so the volume of ‘real news’ tends to reduce as it’s replaced by annual reviews and seasonal surveys. We’ll be joining in with our predictions for 2013 in a few weeks’ time... but first, here’s a look back at the biggest stories from the past seven days.
Two men who owned a marketing company have been fined £440,000 by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office for sending millions of unlawful spam text messages.
It’s the first time the ICO has imposed this type of penalty for a serious breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations since it was given these powers in January.
HP says Autonomy deal was spiced up
Mark Bridge writes:
It’s time to ‘ketchup’ with last week’s biggest mobile industry news stories - and where better to start than with HP’s claims of ‘saucy’ behaviour? It’s launched an investigation into last year’s acquisition of UK company Autonomy, claiming the software company had ‘spiced up’ its valuation. Condiment-based puns aside, it’s a serious matter that could see key players from the deal charged with cooking the books.
Figures from mobile security company AdaptiveMobile suggest that 148.43 million spam texts are received by British consumers every month, with 14.2 million people being bothered by SMS spam at least once a week.
The study, which was carried out last month by YouGov, found that consumers rated unwanted text messages as the most annoying form of spam (41%) ahead of email (36%) and direct mail through the letterbox (17%).