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American Personal Communications (APC), the first GSM carrier in America, provided the first text-messaging service in the United States.Sprint Telecommunications Venture, a partnership of Sprint Corp. made the initial phone-call to launch the network, calling Mayor Kurt Schmoke in Baltimore.As of 2016, text messages are used by youth and adults for personal, family and social purposes and in business, government and non-governmental organizations for communication between colleagues.As with e-mailing, in the 2010s, the sending of short informal messages has become an accepted part of many cultures.Text messages can also be used to interact with automated systems, for example, to order products or services from e-commerce websites, or to participate in online contests.Advertisers and service providers use direct text marketing to send messages to mobile phone users about promotions, payment due dates, and other notifications instead of using postal mail, e-mail, or voicemail.This makes texting a quick and easy way to communicate with friends and colleagues, including in contexts where a phone call would be impolite or inappropriate (e.g., calling very late at night or when one knows the other person is busy with family or work activities).
The GSM in the US had to use a frequency allocated for private communication services (PCS) – what the ITU frequency régime had blocked for DECT – Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications – 1000-feet range picocell, but survived.
The term originally referred to messages sent using the Short Message Service (SMS).
It has grown beyond alphanumeric text to include multimedia messages (known as MMS) containing digital images, videos, and sound content, as well as ideograms known as emoji (happy faces and other icons).
Friedhelm Hillebrand conceptualised SMS in 1984 while working for Deutsche Telekom.
Sitting at a typewriter at home, Hillebrand typed out random sentences and counted every letter, number, punctuation, and space.
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