A record-breaking 4.3bn text messages were sent in the UK in December 2006, according to the latest figures released by the Mobile Data Association (MDA) .

While the monthly figure for person-to-person texts passed the 4bn mark for the first time - up 38 per cent on December 2005's 3.1bn total - the total for 2006 as a whole was 41.8bn; a daily average of 114m messages.

December's total was boosted by some 205m texts sent on Christmas Day, according to the MDA figures. The numbers for December 2006 reflect the continuing near exponential growth of text messaging in the UK over the last few years; in December 2001 the MDA recorded a total of just 42m messages over the whole month.

For more details of the MDA text figures see www.text.it .

Phil Lattimore