Irish mobile users go on Christmas SMS spree


7 Jan 2004

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More than 118 million text messages were sent across Ireland’s three mobile networks over the Christmas period, siliconrepublic.com has learned.

Vodafone emerged as having the most text messages sent over its network during the festive period, with some 60 million text messages sent between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. The company also told siliconrepublic.com that a million picture messages were sent during the period. This high number may be attributed to the fact that users could send picture messages over the Vodafone network during December and January free of charge.

“It was a bumper Christmas for Vodafone in terms of text messages sent on our network. In 2002 some 50.1 million messages were sent on the network and in 2001 some 38.1 million messages were sent during the same period,” said Vodafone spokesperson Joan Keating. “In the hour preceding New Year’s Day some one million messages were sent, compared with 770,000 on New Year’s Eve 2002.”

Keating added that some 8.8 million messages were sent over the Vodafone network on New Year’s Day, compared with seven million in 2002.

The No 2 player in the Irish market, O2, saw some 41 million SMS messages sent over its network between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve by its customers. The company said that approximately 6.1 million messages were sent by O2 customers on Christmas Day and on the day of New Year’s Eve approximately 8.2 million SMS messages were sent by O2 customers.

In the peak hour around midnight on New Year’s Eve, approximately one million text messages were sent by customers of O2.

Using different data parameters, Ireland’s third and smallest mobile player Meteor reported that approximately 17.6 million text messages were sent between 21 December and 3 January. The company added that some 1.5 million text messages were sent on New Year’s Eve and that some 1.4 million text messages were sent on New Year’s Day 2004.

By John Kennedy