Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 16:53 UK

R we in luv with our txt msgs??

Sony Ericsson handset
Text messaging has become an everyday part of life

The popularity of text messaging is growing - with 1.4 billion sent in the UK every week, according to the Mobile Data Association (MDA).

It said the number of messages sent in May was up by 30% compared with the same month a year earlier.

Picture and video messaging, as well as the use of the internet on mobiles is also on the increase, the MDA said.

The group's chairman called for greater price transparency for mobile internet to continue to grow.

'Mass appeal'

The MDA, a non-profit industry association, said text messaging still had "mass consumer appeal" as it released the figures for phone usage in January to May 2008.

Ten million picture messages were sent every week in the UK, with the association suggesting that they have become a substitute for postcards sent while on holiday.

Some 16.5 million people accessed mobile internet services in May. The MDA said this was becoming a rival to desktop internet access.

"It is well understood and been demonstrated in recent years that the mobile phone has become one of the three most important items people carry, along with keys and a wallet or purse, when heading outside," said Rob Bamforth, of IT analysts Quocirca.

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