SMS, as used on modern devices, originated from radio telegraphy in radio memo pagers that used standardized phone protocols.These were defined in 1985 as part of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) series of standards.The protocols allowed users to send and receive messages of up to 160 alpha-numeric characters to and from GSM mobiles.Although most SMS messages are mobile-to-mobile text messages, support for the service has expanded to include other mobile technologies, such as ANSI CDMA networks and Digital AMPS.According to one market research report, as of 2014, the global SMS messaging business was estimated to be worth over $100 billion, accounting for almost 50 percent of all the revenue generated by mobile messaging.Adding text messaging functionality to mobile devices began in the early 1980s.The first action plan of the CEPT Group GSM was approved in December 1982, requesting that, "The services and facilities offered in the public switched telephone networks and public data networks ...should be available in the mobile system." The GSM is optimized for telephony, since this was identified as its main application.
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In this way, unused resources in the system could be used to transport messages at minimal cost.However, it was necessary to limit the length of the messages to 128 bytes (later improved to 160 seven-bit characters) so that the messages could fit into the existing signalling formats.Based on his personal observations and on analysis of the typical lengths of postcard and Telex messages, Hillebrand argued that 160 characters was sufficient to express most messages succinctly.A new network element required was a specialized short message service centre, and enhancements were required to the radio capacity and network transport infrastructure to accommodate growing SMS traffic.
The technical development of SMS was a multinational collaboration supporting the framework of standards bodies.
Through these organizations the technology was made freely available to the whole world.