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 Friday, 3 January, 2003, 11:26 GMT
Txt celebrates record New Year
Girls holding out new picture messaging phone
Many chose to send New Year's greetings via text
A record-breaking number of text messages were sent in the UK on New Year's Eve.

An estimated 125 million messages were sent, more than two times the daily average, according to the Mobile Data Association (MDA).

Most of the messages were sent around midnight or shortly afterwards, as people rushed to wish friends and relatives a happy New Year.

There was some degree of congestion due to the increase in traffic, but the majority of messages were delivered.

In transition

Picture messaging and the mobile internet are being adopted by a wider audience

Mike Short, MDA
Text messaging has experienced huge growth and 2003 is likely to see around 20 billion messages sent, an increase of four billion from 2002, according to the MDA.

New forms of messaging allowed by WAP and camera phones will increase the popularity of the new communication method, said MDA Chairman Mike Short.

"Messaging is in transition with around five million handsets enabled for multi-media messaging," he said.

"Picture messaging and the mobile internet are being adopted by a wider audience," he added.

Say it with text

Another language will grow up around picture messaging as it did around text messaging,

Vodafone spokesman
Network operator Vodafone delivered 20 million text messages on New Year's Eve, up from 15 million the previous year.

The majority of those were still text-based but the firm expects picture messaging to make a big impact in 2003.

"Another language will grow up around picture messaging as it did around text messaging," said a spokesman.

People could send friends a picture of a glass of water and aspirin to indicate a good night out or a picture of a kennel if they want to put someone in the dog house.

Valentine's Day is expected to provide an even bigger surge of text and picture messaging, as people turn to their phones to send traditional messages of love and even to propose to their partners.

See also:

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