UK mobile texters set a new SMS record this New Year, with iPhone carrier O2 reporting its customers sending more than 227 million text messages - its busiest text messaging 24 hour period ever.

Between 7.15am on 31 December 2009 and 7.15am on 1 January 2010, O2 customers sent 227 million text messages, says O2.

"That's the most text messages we've that have ever been sent in a twenty-four hour period on the O2 network in the UK," reports O2.

It is an increase of more than 25 percent compared to O2's previous highest number on New Year's Eve 2007/2008.

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In a tried and tested analogy O2 states that "If all of those 227 million text messages were sent in standard envelopes (measuring 220mm long) and laid end to end, they'd be long enough to stretch around the Earth with an extra 6,000 miles worth to spare!"

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As well as the Apple iPhone, now also carried by rival Orange and soon to be so by Vodafone, O2 is exclusive carrier for the touchscreen Palm Pre smartphone.

Mobile comms operator O2 recently admitted that it has struggled to support its customers in the latter half of 2009.

Its chief executive pointed the finger at the popularity of the iPhone for data access.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Ronan Dunne said that he had been disappointed with the performance of O2's network since the summer, explaining that the company was struggling to cope with the rising number of mobile apps, particularly those associated with Apple's iPhone. He apologised to customers for the problems they'd been facing.

However, Dunne said that the company was upgrading its network to cope with the demand adding that the problems had been mainly confined to London, He said that the company had a three point plan to improve performance for its customers.

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