That first message, which read "Merry Christmas," was sent by Neil Papworth, an engineer at Airwide Solutions, via the Vodafone network to a colleague at the mobile operator who was enjoying the festivities of a staff Christmas party.
IT Pro reports Papworth sent the text on 3 December using a PC terminal and traditional keyboard, while the recipient, Vodafone's Richard Jarvis, received the message using an Orbitel 901 handset.
"I can remember the event, being there, typing [the message] in and getting confirmation that it had got through. But I wasn't the chosen one or anything like that. Eventually the time came when we had to take the system down to Vodafone to plug it in and get it working on the live network. Because I'd been working on the interface stuff it made sense for me to go down and do it," Papworth said.
"I'm still a texter today although I don't need to use it too much at work."Today, more than one billion text messages are sent each week, according to the Mobile Data Association (MDA).