Text Messaging Prevailed In Wake Of London Blasts

Cell phone signals were jammed after the London bombings Thursday, but text messaging managed to get the word out in many cases.

Panicked residents and visitors in London during the terrorist attacks Thursday generally found their cell phones jammed. But those who had text messaging systems were often able to get messages through.

Text messages, which are usually limited to 160 characters on most cell phones, take up little bandwidth. In addition, there were anecdotal reports of e-mails and instant messages from London getting through to their recipients.

Vodafone, the largest mobile phone service provider, said its London network was operating at full capacity. It designated some of its network capacity for rescue and emergency services.

Like other mobile telecommunications suppliers in London, Vodafone said its network infrastructure hadn't been damaged in the terrorist bombing attacks, according to the Dow Jones news service.

The blasts impacted telephony nets as far away as South Africa, where citizens clogged the landline telephone system by calling the U.K. to learn the status of relatives and friends in London. In New Zealand, the major telecom company said it would give rebates to callers who telephoned London Thursday during the crisis.

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