SMS Pioneer Matti Makkonen Dies at 63
Finnish pioneer of texting tech Matti Makkonen has died at the age of 63 after an illness.
Matti Makkonen became known as the father of SMS after developing the idea of sending messages via mobile networks.
Despite the nickname, he was often quick to point out that he did not invent the technology single-handedly.
Speaking on the 20th anniversary of the first text message, Matti Makkonen said that he considered the development of SMS a joint effort and that it was Nokia who helped to popularize the service.
“The real launch of the service, as I see it, was when Nokia introduced the first phone that enabled easy writing of messages (Nokia 2010 in 1994),” he said.
Matti Makkonen added that he did not use “txt spk” himself, though he pointed out that texting could be thought of as having had an impact on the development of language.
Jarmo Matilainen, managing director of Finnish telecoms group Finnet Association, had been working with Matti Makkonen, himself a former managing director of Finnet Ltd, in recent years.
He described Matti Makkonen as a “grand old man of the mobile industry”.
Although the use of SMS has begun to fall, it remains popular worldwide with trillions of texts sent every year.