As with emailing, in the 2010s, the sending of short informal messages has become an accepted part of many cultures.
This makes texting a quick and easy way to communicate with friends and colleagues, including in contexts where a call would be impolite or inappropriate (e.g., calling very late at night or when one knows the other person is busy with family or work activities).
Finnish Radiolinja became the first network to offer a commercial person-to-person SMS text messaging service in 1994.
When Radiolinja's domestic competitor, Telecom Finland (now part of Telia Sonera) also launched SMS text messaging in 1995 and the two networks offered cross-network SMS functionality, Finland became the first nation where SMS text messaging was offered on a competitive as well as on a commercial basis.
In 1933, the German Reichspost (Reich postal service) introduced the first "telex" service.
Friedhelm Hillebrand conceptualised SMS in 1984 while working for Deutsche Telekom.
Sprint Telecommunications Venture, a partnership of Sprint Corp. made the initial phone-call to launch the network, calling Mayor Kurt Schmoke in Baltimore.
As with e-mail, informality and brevity have become an accepted part of text messaging.
Like e-mail and voice mail, and unlike calls (in which the caller hopes to speak directly with the recipient), texting does not require the caller and recipient to both be free at the same moment; this permits communication even between busy individuals.
Text messages can also be used to interact with automated systems, for example, to order products or services from e-commerce websites, or to participate in online contests.
The GSM in the US had to use a frequency allocated for private communication services (PCS) – what the ITU frequency régime had blocked for DECT – Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications – 1000-feet range picocell, but survived.
American Personal Communications (APC), the first GSM carrier in America, provided the first text-messaging service in the United States.