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".
Texting is also used to communicate very brief messages, such as informing someone that you will be late or reminding a friend or colleague about a meeting.
In 1933 RCA Communications, New York introduced the first "telex" service.
Friedhelm Hillebrand conceptualised SMS in 1984 while working for Deutsche Telekom.
As with emailing, in the 2010s, the sending of short informal messages has become an accepted part of many cultures.
This makes texting a quick and easy way to communicate with friends and colleagues, including in contexts where a 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).
Messages could be sent and received on ISDN phones, and these can send SMS to any GSM phone.
The possibility of doing something is one thing, implementing it another, but systems existed from 1988 that sent SMS messages to mobile phones usually messaging from one mobile phone to another mobile phone.
Sitting at a typewriter at home, Hillebrand typed out random sentences and counted every letter, number, punctuation, and space.
Almost every time, the messages contained fewer than 160 characters, thus giving the basis for the limit one could type via text messaging.
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).
E-mail messaging from phones, as popularized by NTT Docomo's i-mode and the RIM Black Berry, also typically use standard mail protocols such as SMTP over TCP/IP.