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New Year Sets New Text Record

More text messages were sent last weekend to usher in 2005 than ever before in Britain - and the growth of SMS is expected to continue over the coming year. In the first 24 hours this year, some 133 million text messages were sent in the UK. Mobile networks became jammed after midnight with thousands of people trying to make phone calls and send messages at exactly the same time causing a near meltdown in service for many.

This year's total is 20% up on the same time last year. In all, 25 billion texts were sent in the UK in 2004. That's predicted to grow to 30 billion over the coming 12 months. The Mobile Data Association is delighted at the news - and believes texting is set to overtake the traditional phone call as Brits' preferred method of communication.

Mike Short, MDA chairman, told BBC News: "In the case of a New Year's Eve party, texting is useful if you are unable to speak or hear because of a noisy background. We thought texting might slow down as MMS (multimedia messages) took off but we have seen no sign of that." The number of messages sent across time zones also increased, with the different times involved making phone calls an unfeasible option.

View: BBC News coverage

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