Telstra brochure from 1997 explains new-fangled “text messages”

Clearing out some old books, I found this from 1997. It’s a Telstra brochure explaining a new product they’re introducing: the “SMS Text Message Service.”

Front cover:
Telstra brochure explaining text messages: page 1

Middle pages:
Telstra brochure explaining text messages: pages 2-3

Back page:
Telstra brochure explaining text messages: page 4

Everything was new once upon a time, right?

From the brochure (and this matches my recollection), initially messages could not be sent between operators. This didn’t come until April 2000, and predictably resulted in exponential growth in messages sent.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “Telstra brochure from 1997 explains new-fangled “text messages””

Not sure if my phone in the late nineties could send sms but it could receive them. My first was from a friend who was Optus while I was Telstra, but I think he sent it from a computer.

I clearly recall thinking that nobody was going to waste their time typing on a phone – I mean, how ridiculous.

Of course, I also once predicted Cyndi Lauper would be a megastar but that Madonna chick would be a one hit wonder .

@Andrew, yeah the Computerworld article I linked to talks about online/desktop applications that could send to any network before the proper inter-operator messaging was working.

I had a Vodafone booklet (circa-1997) that detailed every single feature of their GSM network (short codes for call forwarding, message bank etc.). One of the pages detailed how to dial up their SMS center with a modem and terminal program (i.e HyperTerminal) and send SMS to Vodafone customers. So there were certainly ways to do it.

There was a website that allowed you to send text messages for free, but it got too popular and was shut down.

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