SMS Messaging Allows For Quick Communication Using Cell Phones
SMS messaging stands for short message service and is available on most digital cell phones. These cell phones allow a person to send an SMS or text message from one cell phone to another, from a cell to another handheld device or even from a cell to landline phones. Although text messaging was originally available only as a part of the GSM digital cell phone technology, most cell phone networks now allow for users to text message each other including 3G networks.
The first SMS message was supposedly sent in 1992 from a personal computer to a Vodafone cell phone in England. The popularity of messaging by using SMS on a cell phone has multiplied considerably and is in use by millions of cell phone users. As of 2004, SMS messages were being sent at a rate of five hundred billion messages each year. In the U.S., the average cost for a person to send a SMS message is about five cents. The income that messaging generates for cell phone operators is staggering.
The most popular SMS users tend to be young people who live in large cities. Many markets offer very affordable messaging services while others allow users to send a preset amount of free SMS messages before charging for each additional SMS message. Southeast Asia has a huge population of cell phone users who use SMS services more often than in other parts of the world. Because the SMS feature on cell phones is so popular, most cell phone companies use SMS services as a hook in their marketing campaigns.
The United States population does not use SMS services nearly as much as people in Asia and Europe. Although the cost of sending a SMS message with most wireless plans isn’t that expensive and some plans even allow for an allotment of SMS’s to be sent for free, people in the U.S. still don’t as much messaging. The reason this might be is because wireless plans around the world vary a great deal. While those who live in Southeast Asia receive free text messaging, cell phone users in the U.S. receive unlimited cell phone minutes or high monthly minute portions. Cost seems to be the primary reason for the popularity of sending messages using SMS in different parts of the world.
Efforts to encourage people in the United States to use SMS more with their cell phones have been relatively successful. Some television reality shows that require audience participation in order to ‘vote people off’ are using SMS numbers in order for people to cast their votes. Another effort that is being used to boost SMS use is a service that allows cell phone users to have a funny SMS delivered to their cell phone each day. While this type of SMS service often comes with a fee, it is minimal and most people believe worth the cost.
A relatively new feature for those who send text messages is something called predictive text software. This text software tries to predict what a person is typing, offers a suggestion and the SMS user can either accept the suggestion or continue typing. People no longer have to type for lengthy periods of time in order to send a SMS to another cell phone user or resort to using abbreviations as often as possible.