Kevin Holley



I currently work for Telefónica SA (a fixed and mobile communications operator with business in Spain, UK (O2), Germany (O2), Ireland (O2), Czech Republic (O2), Slovakia (O2) and much of Latin America).  

I was one of a small group of people who designed the original standard for text messaging (SMS) in the 1980s.  I was the first person to start developing applications for text, including news alerts, email to SMS, scores for football, tennis etc. Some people refer to me as the original inventor of SMS, however it is not fair for me to claim this title.  SMS was invented by a collaboration of people in the standards community.   SMS is what it is today because of a number of developments:

1. original concept by a Franco/German paper into the main GSM committee, 1985
2. development of this concept into a base set of standards, 1985-1990
3. improvement on the base standards to include things like flash SMS, long SMS, binary capabilities like ringtones, extended language capabilities
4. moving forwards into 3G and MMS (you could say I invented the MMS concept but the development of MMS was by a collaboration of people in the standards community)

Item 1 was driven by Fred Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert.

My involvement runs from item 2 to item 4; Item 2 was primarily driven by Norwegians including Finn Trosby.  I led the activities of 3 and 4.

There is information on ETSI's development of GSM here.

Since my first involvement with GSM early in 1988 I have developed many different aspects of cellular standardisation, from the original GSM standard to 3G Wideband CDMA, the Open Mobile Alliance standards for mobile (and fixed) applications, and now the Long Term Evolution (LTE) activities in 3GPP.

I am currently vice chair of the 3GPP Technical Specification Group Services and System Aspects (3GPP TSG SA).

I was interviewed in 1988 as a part of the GSM World Congress.  The interview is still interesting today (2009) I think.  It may still be here, but in case it gets lost I have copied it here.

At the same time I wrote a paper about GSM data which is here and copied locally here.

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Last Updated: 13th May 2009