San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Text-Messaging Craze Sets Christmas Record

DESPITE the fact that Costa Rica has only 4.2 million inhabitants, its cell phone users sent 14 million text messages on Christmas, according to data from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the state-owned monopoly on telecommunications.


With 36% of Ticos owning cell phones, according to ICE, that’s an average of more than nine messages per person.


Orlando Cascante, head of mobile services for ICE, told La Nación newspaper the daily average for text messages is 8-9 million. Text messages cost less than $0.01 to send, and with the inauguration last month of a new GSM technology network (TT, Dec. 9, 2005), more people have access to the service than 2004, when the Christmas total was 9 million.

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