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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 January 2006, 17:28 GMT
Texting record for New Year's Eve
Man holding mobile with text from the bible
Even the Bible has been condensed to a text message
Checking your mobile phone for messages and wishing friends and family a happy new year via SMS has become as much a tradition as Big Ben's chimes.

A record 165m text messages were sent in the UK on New Year's Eve, according to the Mobile Data Association.

MDA said it is the highest daily total it has ever recorded.

SMS is on an ever-growing curve and this year's New Year figures are up 24% compared to last year.

Self-destruct SMS
100m messages to be sent every day in 2006
82m messages sent per day in 2005
68.5m messages sent per day in 2004
56.2m messages sent per day in 2003

It means that from midnight on New Year's Eve to midnight on New Year's Day, an average of 6.9m messages were sent each hour as people rushed to wish each other a happy new year.

There was frustration for some though as networks failed to cope with demand.

MDA is predicting that 2006 will see 36.5bn text messages sent in the UK, which represents an average of 100 million each day.

This compares to an estimated 82m per day in 2005.

Critics have accused the text messaging phenomenon of destroying traditional methods of communication, especially among the young.

This view was given some credence in November when a professor at University College London set out to condense the words of some of English literature's classic tomes into a few lines of text as a learning aid.

And in Australia in October the Bible Society translated all 31,173 verses of the Bible into text-speak in the hope of attracting young people to the holy book.

Other developments for text messaging in 2005 including the first self-destruct text message, developed by UK firm Staellium, which deleted itself minutes after being sent to set paranoid texters' minds at rest.

And at the end of the year, the government announced it would be sending its own message directly to phones - with the nationwide introduction of a texting scheme which notifies offenders to pay up fines.

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