More texts please, we're British

Valentine's Day is expected to spark a text-messaging frenzy among Brits wanting to send an instant greeting to that special someone

A record number of Britons are expected to say "I love you" -- or something considerably saucier -- by text message on 14 February this year.

Last year saw 50 million SMSs sent in the UK on Valentine's Day, with two million more messages than usual on the Vodafone network alone, and this year mobile phone company Virgin Mobile is estimating that up to 80 million may fly through the airwaves.

The ability to send anonymous text messages, through sites such as Lastminute.com and mobile phone companies, may well provide an incentive to shy mobile phone users to contact that special someone without the need to disguise their handwriting.

The British have been enthusiastic adopters of text messaging, passing the one-billion-per-month mark in late 2001. But Valentine's Day is one of the heaviest days of the year for text traffic around the world -- in Thailand, the biggest mobile network crashed because of the demand in 2001.

According to Vodafone, there were 400 marriage proposals by text message last year, but one unlucky wife in Dubai found herself divorced by SMS.


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