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15M NYE TXT; Irish spend pounds 2m on mobile messages.

Byline: MIRROR REPORTER

IRISH people sent 15million text messages on New Year's Eve, phone companies revealed yesterday.

Vodafone dealt with 7.7million text and picture messages, while seven million were sent by O2 customers.

A further 600,000 texts came from subscribers to the Meteor network.

In all EUR2million was spent on texting friends and family in the hours either side of New Year.

And according to telecom experts each of the Republic's three million mobile phone users sent an average of five texts each on New Year's Eve.

Most users took advantage of the "send to all" feature on their phone to send the same "Happy New Year" message to everyone in their phone book.

Jill Johnston, of O2, said: "The seven million texts represents an increase of more than 250 per cent on last year when 2.7million messages were sent on New Year's Eve 2001."

Each Irish mobile phone user sent an average of 65 text messages per month last year - a total of 2.34billion in the 12 months from December 2001.

That figure is almost double the 1.5billion sent the year before.

Text messaging has now become the standard way of marking festive events.

On Christmas Day, five million text messages travelled on O2's network, while 700,000 were sent on the Meteor network.

O2 customers sent 2.4million texts on Valentine's Day last year, although more than 200,000 were sent to the wrong person.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 3, 2003
Words:242
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