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In countries such as Finland, Sweden and Norway, over 85% of the population use SMS.
The European average is about 80%, and North America is rapidly catching up with over 60% active users of SMS by end of 2008 Text messaging is most often used between private mobile phone users, as a substitute for voice calls in situations where voice communication is impossible or undesirable (e.g., during a school class or a work meeting).
GSM was allowed in the United States and the radio frequencies were blocked and awarded to US "Carriers" to use US technology.
It has grown beyond alphanumeric text to include multimedia messages (known as MMS) containing digital images, videos, and sound content, as well as ideograms known as emoji (happy faces, sad faces, and other icons).Messages could be sent and received on ISDN phones, and these can send SMS to any GSM phone.The possibility of doing something is one thing, implementing it another, but systems existed from 1988 that sent SMS messages to mobile phones usually messaging from one mobile phone to another mobile phone.Sprint Telecommunications Venture, a partnership of Sprint Corp. made the initial phone-call to launch the network, calling Mayor Kurt Schmoke in Baltimore.and three large cable-TV companies, owned 49 percent of APC. One factor in the slow take-up of SMS was that operators were slow to set up charging systems, especially for prepaid subscribers, and to eliminate billing fraud, which was possible by changing SMSC settings on individual handsets to use the SMSCs of other operators.
It may simply be referred to as a "text" in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, an "SMS" in most of mainland Europe, or an "MMS" or "SMS" in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.