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 Wednesday, 20 July 2005

A brief history of mobile phone texting in the United Kingdom described below.
(Source: Media Center):

  • The first text message was sent in December 1992.
  • SMS was launched commercially for the first time in 1995.
  • 1998 - Interconnect between UK Operators O2, Orange, Vodafone and T-Mobile.
  • The first recorded monthly text message total was 5.4 million, in April 1998.
  • The first TV programme to use text messaging in a storyline was Eastenders, in 2000.
  • August 2001 was the first month in which over one billion messages were sent in the UK.
  • The first local and mayoral electoral vote in the UK by text message took place on 23rd May 2002.
  • December 2002 - 1 billion SMS per day were exchanged globally
  • On New Year's Day 2003, the number of text messages sent in one day topped one hundred million for the first time.
  • 92 million text messages were sent by Britons on Valentine's Day 2005
  • In December 2004, 2.4 billion text messages were sent in Britain as the traditional Christmas card was dumped in favour of a seasonal text message.
  • A-Level - 81 million messages were sent throughout the UK on August 19th 2004, compared to 67 million text messages on A-level result day, August 14th 2003.
  • The Rt. Hon Tony Blair MP became the first UK Prime Minister to use text message technology to talk directly to the people on 25th November 2004, answering questions submitted in advance by text message from members of the public as well as in real-time in a mobile phone chat-room, transmitted live from No. 10 Downing Street.
  • On New Year's Day 2005, the total number of text messages sent reached 133 million, the highest recorded daily total.
  • Annual SMS totals: 1999 -1 billion; 2000 - 6.2 billion; 2001 - 12.2 billion; 2002 - 16.8 billion; 2003 - 20.5 billion; 2004 - 26 billion.
  • The MDA has forecast that a total 30 billion text messages will be sent in the UK by the end of 2005 compared to the figure of 26 billion for 2004.
  • 53 million UK subscribers were registered as active on UK networks as of the end of September 2004, of which over 70% send text messages.
  • Text messages contribute up to 20 % of operator revenues.
  • 95% of 16-24 year olds use text messaging regularly, each sending an average of 100 texts per month In 2004, UK mobile phone owners sent an average of 72 million text messages on a typical day across the four UK GSM network operators
  • On average, over 3 million messages are sent every hour in Britain.
  • The peak hours for texting are between 10.30pm and 11.00pm.

The full article can be accessed here.