APC operated under the brand name of Sprint Spectrum and launched its service on November 15, 1995 in Washington, D. However, not all text-messaging systems use SMS; some notable alternate implementations of the concept include J-Phone's Sky Mail and NTT Docomo's Short Mail, both in Japan.
E-mail messaging from phones, as popularized by NTT Docomo's i-mode and the RIM Black Berry, also typically use standard mail protocols such as SMTP over TCP/IP.
Text messages can also be used to interact with automated systems, for example, to order products or services from e-commerce websites, or to participate in online contests.
Advertisers and service providers use direct text marketing to send messages to mobile users about promotions, payment due dates, and other notifications instead of using postal mail, email, or voicemail.
The service is referred to by different colloquialisms depending on the region.