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2.1bn messages sent in March

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Mobile phone users in the UK sent a whopping 2.1bn text messages in March this year, or an average of 69m texts per day.

The Mobile Data Association (MDA) points out that March's figures are over 80m higher than February's. Call us abacus-rattlers if you will, but we suspect that March being two days longer than February this year may have had something to do with it.

However, the figures do show about a 20 per cent increase on texts sent in the same period last year, when we dispatched a meagre 56m text every day.

So why the increase? Relentless campaigning by all the mobile service providers - Virgin Mobile's Idle thumbs campaign springs to mind - as well as more businesses starting to use texts to communicate with customers probably covers some of it.

The MDA, for example, cites a messaging service just launched on SAGA radio, an independent station aimed at the over-50s. Listeners were asked to text requests to the presenters. The station also ran a competition asking listeners to text in who they would most like to text, and what they would say, echoing the pre-T-Mobile rebrand One2One adverts.

Submissions included a call for the return of Winston Churchill: "Come back, all is forgiven", a request to lottery organisers at Camelot: "My numbers are:" and a prayer familiar to all commuters: "Lord, save me a seat."

Mike Short, Chairman of the MDA said that this was a good demonstration of how versatile text messaging is, "which makes it an attractive form of communication for everyone". ®

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