O2 has announced that 166 million messages were sent over its network in a 24-hour period ending at 7.30 am on New Year’s Day 2009.

This apparently breaks the operator's previous records as more of us turn to texting to pass on New Year's greetings.

The operator says that an average of 1900 messages were sent every second.

Before New Year, Orange predicted that it would be due to handle approximately 112 million SMS and 900,000 picture messages on 31 December.

In addition, Orange revealed that another 110 million were expected to be sent on New Year's day.