Virgin Mobile Canada Predicts a Record Holiday Season for Text Messaging

    
    -   Canadians expected to send a record 200 million text messages on
        Christmas Day

    -   New Year's Eve expected to surpass this figure with 225 million text
        messages
    

TORONTO, Dec. 22 /CNW/ - Warning! The sound of Santa's sleigh bells will be drowned out by the tapping of mobile phone keypads this Christmas with a record 200 million text messages expected to be sent on Christmas Day and an even bigger number for New Year's Eve, according to Virgin Mobile Canada.

From 'wishN u II a hpE xmas to 'wsh yall a vry hpE nu yr,' Canada's skies will be home to not just Santa and his reindeer, but with millions of text messages flying across the country.

One of the main reasons for the growth in texting this year, according to Virgin Mobile, is the growing popularity of mobile phones designed for text-lovers, such as the LG Rumour and Samsung VICE with their full QWERTY keyboards, which make typing a text message easier than eating a turkey!

"Canada's love affair with text messages is not stopping," said Chris Baines, Virgin Mobile's textpert. "QWERTY style phones have been flying off our shelves like it's Christmas. Oops, sorry it is! But seriously, sending a text is super easy and super fun, so QWERTY style phones have been at the top of many Canadians' Christmas wish lists this year - even Santa's."

The popularity of text messages is also driven by the low cost of sending a text. For as little as 15 cents with Virgin Mobile you can send a standard text to your mum in Montreal, or for just 20 cents to your sister in the UK - and incoming texts are always free with Virgin Mobile. And, like last year, international text message traffic is expected to break new records with many Canadians texting loved ones in countries like the US, China, UK and Greece.

"Text message traffic will peak on New Year's Eve," added Baines. "We're expecting our biggest day for text message traffic on Dec 31st with more than 225 million text messages being sent across Canada."

Virgin Mobile's top five text messages for the holiday season are "hpE nu yr", "kiss ya l8r xoxo", "I gotta bag of gifts 4 u", "W84me@mistletoe", and "xo@midnit?".

Let's talk about text. Here are some more facts and figures:

    
    -   On an average day Canadians send around 100 million text messages -
        on Christmas Day and New Year's Day Virgin Mobile expects this figure
        to more than double(1)

    -   An average of more than 4 million text messages are sent on the hour
        in Canada

    -   Textaholics aged 18-30 will be the biggest texters this holiday
        season, sending an average of eight text messages each, twice as much
        as last year!(2)
    

About Virgin Mobile

The Virgin Mobile group of companies has attracted more than 12 million customers worldwide. As the No.1 mobile youth network, Virgin Mobile Canada's mission is to be Canada's most loved mobile company. Its simpler, better deals offer customers control, flexibility and choice to design mobile packages that truly work for them. J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Canadian Wireless Customer Satisfaction Study has awarded Virgin Mobile "Highest in Customer Satisfaction With Prepaid Wireless Service, Five Years in a Row"(3) and it has ranked Virgin Mobile "Highest in Customer Satisfaction With Postpaid Wireless Service"(4). 91% of customers would also recommend Virgin Mobile to a friend.

Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 4,000 locations with top-up cards available at more than 10,000 locations nationally. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online at www.virginmobile.ca or by calling 1-888-999-2321. Get personal with Virgin Mobile Canada on Facebook at facebook.com/virginmobilecan and Twitter at twitter.com/virginmobilecan.

    
    ------------------------
    (1) http://www.cwta.ca/CWTASite/english/newsletter_211209.html#2
    (2) Virgin Mobile Canada - Consumer Research Data, 2009
    (3) J.D. Power and Associates 2005-2009 Canadian Wireless Customer
        Satisfaction Studies(SM). Study based on 15,207 total responses from
        consumers with prepaid wireless service, measuring 5 wireless service
        providers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and
        perceptions of consumers surveyed in October 2009. www.jdpower.com
    (4) J.D. Power and Associates 2005-2009 Canadian Wireless Customer
        Satisfaction Studies(SM). Study based on 15,207 total responses from
        consumers with postpaid wireless service, measuring 9 wireless
        service providers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences
        and perceptions of consumers surveyed in October 2009.
        www.jdpower.com
    

SOURCE Virgin Mobile Canada

For further information: For further information: Kayla Rochkin, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416) 413-4767, Kayla.rochkin@hillandknowlton.ca; Chris Baines, Virgin Mobile Canada, (416) 607-8412, (416) 556-3000, chris.baines@virginmobile.ca

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Virgin Mobile Canada

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