The Great Debate UK

Happy Birthday, texting: 21 today

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–Iain Regan is global head of sales, marketing and customer management at Firstsource Solutions. The opinions expressed are his own.–

Text messaging feels like such a contemporary part of our lives that it is hard to believe that SMS is today marking its 21st anniversary. On 3 December 1992, Neil Papworth, a 22 year old test engineer for Sema Group in the UK used a PC to send the text message “Merry Christmas” via the Vodafone network to the phone of Richard Jarvis in Newbury.

From these lowly beginnings, SMS has revolutionised our social lives and the way we do business. But is it now under threat from over-the-top (OTT) messaging applications like Snapchat and WhatsApp?

Analysts Ovum estimate that carriers lost £15bn of potential SMS-related revenue in 2012 due to the growing popularity of instant messaging apps. Not only do they mimic the instant messaging capacity of SMS, but they add features that SMS does not provide for, moving beyond one-to-one communication to provide persistent group conversations, and enhancing the plain text with multi-media capabilities.

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Nokia e71LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Once they were warriors battling one another on the digital battlefield. Nowadays, Microsoft and Nokia are worriers, huddling together for comfort.

The world's top phone and software companies need each other to compete with Apple, Google and Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM), whose products increasingly define what users expect from phones and charge premium prices in consequence.

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