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Friedhelm Hillebrand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friedhelm Hillebrand is a German engineer who has been influential in setting mobile telecommunications standards. Hillebrand is one of the inventors of the SMS,[1][2] as he and Frenchman Bernard Ghillebaert created the concept for the service in 1984.[3] As chairman of the non-voice services committee for the Global System for Mobile Communications standard in 1985, he conducted experiments to determine the length needed for text messages and found that 160 characters was sufficient.[3] This subsequently became the basis for the 140 character limit now used by Twitter.[3][4] Hillebrand was inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame in 2017 for his accomplishments in the wireless industry.[5]

Hillebrand was born in Warstein in 1940, and as a child, was active in amateur radio.[6] He gained a master's degree in telecommunications in 1968, then started his career with the German post office, which was then also responsible for telephones.[6] After retiring from that career, he started a consultancy advising on technology patents.[4]


  1. ^ Ullrich, Klaus (1 December 2017). "Happy Birthday: 25 Years of SMS". DW.com. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  2. ^ Großelohmann, Reinhold; Schmallenberg, Ingrid (25 December 2017). "Gebürtiger Sichtigvorer Friedhelm Hillebrand einer der maßgeblichen Erfinder der SMS" [Sichtigvor-born Friedhelm Hillebrand is one of the main inventors of the SMS]. Soester Anzeiger (in German). Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Ilegems, Michael (3 December 2014). "De sms bestaat 22 jaar: een terugblik" [The SMS is 22 years: a retrospect]. Data News (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b Mark Milian (May 3, 2009), "Why text messages are limited to 160 characters", LA Times
  5. ^ Wireless History Foundation (2017). "Friedhelm Hillebrand". Wireless Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 19, 2024.
  6. ^ a b Anne Yound (16 March 1998), "Profile: Friedhelm Hillebrand", Total Telecom