The input documents on SMS had been prepared by Friedhelm Hillebrand (Deutsche Telekom) with contributions from Bernard Ghillebaert (France Télécom).
The definition that Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert brought into GSM called for the provision of a message transmission service of alphanumeric messages to mobile users "with acknowledgement capabilities".
The protocols allowed users to send and receive messages of up to 160 alpha-numeric characters to and from GSM mobiles.
A new network element required was a specialized short message service centre, and enhancements were required to the radio capacity and network transport infrastructure to accommodate growing SMS traffic.
The technical development of SMS was a multinational collaboration supporting the framework of standards bodies.
Through these organizations the technology was made freely available to the whole world.
This proposal was further elaborated in GSM subgroup WP1 Services (Chairman Martine Alvernhe, France Telecom) based on a contribution from Germany.
According to one market research report, as of 2014, the global SMS messaging business was estimated to be worth over $100 billion, accounting for almost 50 percent of all the revenue generated by mobile messaging.