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New Year wishes paralyse Swisscom SMS service

Five million SMSs were sent on Christmas Eve, December 24, and even more were believed to have been sent on New Year's Eve, December 31 2000

(Keystone)

A flood of New Year greetings sent to friends and family as text messages by mobile phone, caused havoc with the Short Message Service (SMS) of Switzerland's largest telecoms operator, Swisscom.

Just as people were beginning to welcome in the year 2001, Switzerland's biggest mobile phone network suffered its worst disruptions to date due to an overload of the system.

Christian Neuhaus, spokesman for Swisscom, said that around 19h00, the system began to be inundated with messages. He said the traffic was "crazy".

From then on, it took longer and longer for the messages to be transmitted to their destinations. The spokesman said that by 22h00, Swisscom's central SMS service was completely overloaded.

The situation was brought under control around 04h00 and Neuhaus said that every message reached its destination, even if it took a while.

Neuhaus said he could not say how many text messages were sent via Swisscom mobile phones. However, five million SMSs were sent on Christmas Eve, December 24.

On average, 2.5 million SMS messages are sent every day.

swissinfo with agencies

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