Incriminating text messages could be a thing of the past with a new service that causes messages to expire in under a minute.

StealthText from Staellium is only available in the UK and could be used for sending confidential or sensitive business information, or for celebs cheating on spouses, according to the company - inevitably eyeing the press coverage that any reference to David Beckham's extra-curricular activities brings.

The technology behind it is a touch clunky however. Users have to download and install an applet, plus both recipient and sender have to have WAP phones. The recipient receives a SMS link to the message, held on Staellium secure servers. A message sent in "stealth mode" disappears from a mobile about 40 seconds after it is viewed.

While the message is deleted from the recipient's phone, the "paper trail" along with a log of the message stays on a secure server for a period of time. The recipient doesn't have access to the server. The service also provides a separate address book stored on their servers rather than your phone.

StealthText message are sold in bundles of 12 for £5.