British software architect, designer and developer, who is known for sending the world’s first SMS on 3rd December 1992. The message was sent from a personal computer (not a phone) to a Orbitel 901 handset of Richard Jarvis. The two word SMS – Merry Christmas – was transmitted over the Vodafone GSM network in the UK.
Papworth was part of a team at Sema Group which was developing a Short Message Service Centre (SMSC) for their contractor, Vodafone. The team was involved in integrating and testing the software. He remained at the Sema Group and its successors for several years.
Neil Papworth would have been forgotten had it not been for an article on the BBC web site celebrating the 10th anniversary of text messaging. Since then he has received considerable media interest and become a celebrity of sorts with articles written about him in several newspapers around the world, been featured in a Super Bowl advertisement and been an answer to a Jeopardy question!
His web site is at NeilPapworth.com.