Saturday, 31 December 2016 00:18

Telstra: NYE 2016 data usage predicted to be 40% more than last year Featured

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Back during NYE 2015, Telstra made some massive predictions, but on NYE 2016, such predictions are unsurprisingly being surpassed again – but not for text messages.

If you want to check out what Telstra was predicting this time last year, then head over here for those details.

But what about tonight’s data, text message and phone call predictions for NYE 2016, as we tick over into the first of January 2017?

It should come as no surprise to see Telstra stating that the data, voice and text traffic for New Year’s Eve would be "unprecedented".

In short, Telstra is predicting:

  • Up to 12.6 million text messages between 11pm and 2am;
  • Almost 1,150 TB of downloaded data (1.15 million GB);
  • Up to 55 million text messages; and
  • Up to 40 million calls from mobiles.

That figure of almost 1150 TB (or 1.15 million GB) of data is that aforementioned figure of 40% more than last year.

Interestingly, the text message figure for the entire period is two million down on last year, but that surely is a reflection of all the various messaging apps out there, from Facebook Messenger to iMessage to Viber, Skype and a plethora of others. 

That said, the number of text messages between 11pm and 2am is predicted to rise to "up to 12.6 million", up from 11.5 million last year, and a million more calls are expected tonight, 40 million instead of 39 million last year. You'd have to imagine this rise in mobile calls is despite VoIP, Facetime, Skype and the voice and video features of all those messaging apps, which presumably leads to there being 40% more data being used this year. 

But that's enough of my own analysis of the figures, what does Telstra have to say?

Telstra’s director for Wireless Network Engineering, Channa Seneviratne, noted that "Telstra saw a record amount of data downloaded on Christmas Day and that trend is set to continue over New Year’s Eve".

Seneviratne said: “The explosion in mobile usage and the increasing access to high-speed 4G and 4GX technology have created more ways for people to connect during the holidays.

“The amount of data we predict to be downloaded on New Year’s Eve is the equivalent of one person continuously watching 90 years of High Definition content, which is a fair load for the network to carry.

“That means a lot of videos and photos capturing the celebrations.

“We also expect plenty of traffic via text messages with the peak coming between 11pm and 2am, when we predict over 12.6 million text messages will be sent through the network,” Seneviratne concluded.

Telstra adds that its "personal mobile customers on eligible pre-paid and post-paid plans who are out and about on New Year’s Eve are encouraged to sign up to Telstra Air to enjoy unlimited free data hotspots on the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network".

The company advises that its "Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots are available in thousands of neighbourhoods across Australia, including more than 100 coastal towns and retreats from Broome to Byron Bay".

So, please have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve 2016, and here’s to a truly fantastic 2017 to us all!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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