How It Works

Why are text messages limited in characters?

In the mid-1980s, a group of telecommunications researchers in Europe were trying to devise a standard way to send text messages through a brand-new technology called the mobile phone. Their best hope was to use a secondary radio channel on mobile networks TS91947894reserved to transmit bits of data about reception strength. But the narrow data channel would only allow a limited number of characters.

The chairman of the research group, Friedhelm Hillebrand, conducted a non-scientific study of postcards,Telex transmissions and his own list of frequently asked questions to determine that 160 characters would be enough for most communications. As a result, the short message system (SMS) was born. So if you ever run out of characters, blame Mr Hillebrand.

Answered by Dave Roos