Indeed, in 2013, the number of mobile messages sent via OTT apps exceeded SMS for the first time.

There are other ways to send multimedia messages whilst keeping the costs at bay, said the network.

Well it hopes to monetise this appetite for data by moving customers onto more expensive tariffs with bigger data allowances.

This is its exact rationale behind Feel at Home , its roaming offer which lets its customers use their UK allowances in a number of countries.

While this obviously eats into roaming revenue, it does mean customers are more likely to use their phone abroad rather than switch it off or use free Wi-Fi networks.

For the operator that says its network is built for data, it makes perfect sense.

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