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It may simply be referred to as a "text" in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, an "SMS" in most of mainland Europe, or an "MMS" or "SMS" in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.The sender of a text message is commonly referred to as a "texter".In countries such as Finland, Sweden and Norway, over 85% of the population use SMS.The European average is about 80%, and North America is rapidly catching up with over 60% active users of SMS by end of 2008 Text messaging is most often used between private mobile phone users, as a substitute for voice calls in situations where voice communication is impossible or undesirable (e.g., during a school class or a work meeting).Text messages are used for personal, family, business and social purposes.Governmental and non-governmental organizations use text messaging for communication between colleagues.
Almost every time, the messages contained fewer than 160 characters, thus giving the basis for the limit one could type via text messaging.Sprint Telecommunications Venture, a partnership of Sprint Corp. made the initial phone-call to launch the network, calling Mayor Kurt Schmoke in Baltimore.and three large cable-TV companies, owned 49 percent of APC. One factor in the slow take-up of SMS was that operators were slow to set up charging systems, especially for prepaid subscribers, and to eliminate billing fraud, which was possible by changing SMSC settings on individual handsets to use the SMSCs of other operators.Finnish Radiolinja became the first network to offer a commercial person-to-person SMS text messaging service in 1994.
When Radiolinja's domestic competitor, Telecom Finland (now part of Telia Sonera) also launched SMS text messaging in 1995 and the two networks offered cross-network SMS functionality, Finland became the first nation where SMS text messaging was offered on a competitive as well as on a commercial basis.The electrical telegraph systems, developed in the early 19th century, used simple electrical signals to send text messages.