Virgin Mobile helps total over 2 billion

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The number of chargeable person-to-person text messages sent last month has once again increased on previous figures, with messages sent on New Year’s Day topping 111 million. It is also the first time that Virgin Mobile figures have been included in the MDA’s monthly figures. The total for January is 2.2 billion, an increase of 0.6 billion on January 2003. The average daily total of messages sent in January is 71 million, that’s compared to 53 million in January 2003. In the past the figures consisted of messages sent from four UK GSM networks Orange, O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone, but this month’s total includes text messages sent using the Virgin Mobile service.

Steven Day, corporate affairs director of Virgin Mobile commented:  "We are very pleased to now be included in the MDA’s texting figures, as it demonstrates Virgin Mobile’s growing role as a major player in the field of mobile telecommunications. We are looking forward to a long association with MDA and a continual increase in the popularity of messaging services."

The figures for January appear to confirm the MDA’s forecast of continued growth of text messaging in 2004. It predicts messages sent will reach 23 billion for 2004, equating to 63 million messages per day. That’s compared to an average of 55 million for 2003.  The MDA will continue to monitor the situation with a monthly statistics review  - every month the MDA will post the numbers on its website www.text.it

In releasing today’s figures Mike Short, Chairman of the MDA commented:  "We are delighted to have Virgin Mobile on-board. We can now provide a more comprehensive picture of the growth of text messaging. The latest round of figures confirm what we’ve already forecast, that text messaging usage will continue to grow in 2004 with operators and service providers offering customers greater choice in mobility, ease of use, colour screens, higher speed devices and of course more functionality, coupled with an ever increasing range of services.  With significant choice and competition in messaging services the use of text is also evolving into picture messaging, WAP and instant messaging as people explore the full range of mobile messaging services available to them."