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Phones

Tech-savvy Pope txts u at World Youth Day 2008

World Youth Day 2008 is currently underway in Sydney, and Telstra has come up with a few tech-happy ways to enhance the pilgrims' experience.

World Youth Day 2008 is currently underway in Sydney, and event partner Telstra has come up with a few tech-happy ways to enhance the pilgrims' experience.

Chief among its offerings is the Pope SMS, in which free daily inspirational text messages from Benedict XVI are sent to registered Telstra mobile customers.

Like many of his young followers, the Pope is inclined to use a little txt speak when composing his digital missives. The first message transmitted to pilgrims was this: "Young friend, God and his people expect much from u because u have within you the Father's supreme gift: the Spirit of Jesus". He signed off as "BXVI".

Telstra has also established a telecommunications precinct in Hyde Park where people can use the internet and send a message to the giant digital prayer walls that have been built at four sites around Sydney. A green-screen studio allows pilgrims to record themselves singing the official World Youth Day song with Guy Sebastian and Paulini.

To get the low-down on the Pope's texts as well as some other tech on display at World Youth Day, we talked to Telstra's Peter Taylor. Find out whether it's really the Holy Father behind the alphanumeric keypad in our video.

Telstra customers can sign up for the Pope's text messages until July 17 by texting the word "Pope" to 0400 495 111. A warning if you use your phone as an alarm clock: they arrive bright and early at around 6am.