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Mobile phone internet use spikes between 10 and 11 at night, a survey has shown, with hundreds of thousands of Britons taking to the web on their handsets while out drinking or returning from the pub.

In a study conducted by O2 it was revealed that 42 per cent of those surveyed used their phone to send emails late at night once a week.

Meanwhile, a third of the sample used their mobile to visit social networking sites at this time, while a fifth are partial to downloading music.

Antony Douglas, Head of Content for O2, said the trend was being driven by people returning from a night out.

He commented: “The O2 Pulse research confirms that one of the first things people do on their way home from a night out is surf the web from their mobile.

“With applications and the internet now so easily available, customers are hungry to chat, gossip, play and Facebook the small hours away on their phones, which might lead to a few embarrassed red faces in the morning – and not just from over-dosing on chilli sauce.”

O2, which is the official UK carrier of the iPhone 3G S also discovered that one third of all MMS messages are sent between 10 and 11’o clock.

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