Later, text messages increased/began to increase rapidly.

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Senior Member
Chinese - China
Since the first text message in 1992, texting has become very popular. Texting did not become common until about 1998. Later, text messages increased rapidly. From 2006 to 2007 in the US, the number of monthly texts grew 335% (2006, 65 messages; 2007, 218 messages). ... Now, some people send more than 1500 text messages a month.

(from an English textbook for junior high school students in China, published by Pearson Education and Beijing Normal University Press)

I wonder if the third sentence should be changed to later, text messages began to increase rapidly because the increase has continued up to now and the simple past doesn’t necessarily implies that the increase continues.

Many thanks in advance.
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