It may still be nice to receive a Christmas card through the post – but these days the real king of holiday greetings is the mobile phone text message. Proof of this can be inferred from the fact that more than 50 million text messages were sent from Swedish phones during New Year’s Eve alone. That is more than five for every man, woman and child in the country.
The Local newspaper relayed the numbers from Sweden’s state-owned telecoms operator Telia, which reported more than 24 million text messages had been sent through its network. Its rival, Tele2 reported nearly 28.4 million text messages were sent through its system.
These figures shatter last year’s numbers when Tele2 customers sent 17 million text messages before the deadline of 6am on New Year’s Day. Some 2.3 million of them were sent within a single hour before the stroke of midnight. This figure set the world record back in 2007, but the bar has been seriously raised with this year’s effort.
Erik Hallberg from Telia commented that, “New Year’s Eve can just as well be renamed to SMS-Eve. On no other day in the year are so many text messages sent as during New Year’s Eve celebrations when everyone wants to wish each other Happy New Year.”
Tele2’s Thomas Ekman said: “The trend is clear and the mobile phone has taken over Christmas and New Year greetings from the traditional Christmas card.”