Message mayhem

Portugal’s recent footballing victories have brought joy to many people and mobile phone operators are no exception. Whenever the national team plays, the number of calls and text messages (SMS) increases dramatically, and Vodafone, TMN and Optimus predict even higher numbers as the tournament progresses. The first match, when Portugal played Greece, caused the volume of calls to increase by 360 per cent compared to the previous week, astonishing TMN. When Portugal faced Russia, Optimus registered an increase of 123 per cent in calls, and 193 per cent in text messages, in the Luz Stadium area of Lisbon alone.

Vodafone also reported that the number of calls and SMS messages sent via its network multiplied dramatically in the two hours before the Portugal-Spain match, during the game and an hour after the victory. According to Vodafone, this increase is not only registered when Portugal play. “On average, calls triple and there are six times more texts registered than on a normal day during the Euro 2004 games,” a spokesman revealed. Luckily, operators had predicted the increase and were prepared for the avalanche of calls and texts. All three of the major operators had boosted their networks in preparation for the tournament.