Optus says voice and SMS in not dead, with statistics released showing SMS increased by 3% between (AESDT) 12.00am Christmas morning to 12.00am on Boxing Day, while mobile calls increased by 5 per cent for the same period.
Optus VP, Corporate and Regulatory Affiars, David Epstein said, “It appears what’s old is new again, with increases in mobile and fixed line calls, and SMS up on last year.
“In 2014 we appear to have taken the time to reach out to loved ones, friends and family over Christmas with a phone call or SMS.”
Optus Christmas Day Network Highlights, which is ‘Optus customers (AESDT 12.00am Christmas Day to 12.00am Boxing Day 2014, compared to 12.00am Christmas Day to 12.00am Boxing Day 2013)’ are as follows:
- 1.8 million more SMS than 2013 (up 3%) to 61.8 million
- 1.5 million more mobile calls than 2013 (up 5%) to 33.4 million
- 1.4 million more fixed line calls than 2013 (up 7%) to 22.6 million
- Overall data volume 382Tbs [terabytes] (up 48%) – the total amount of data downloaded and uploaded across Christmas Day
- Mr Epstein said the huge uplift in data speeds and volumes over Christmas pointed to an interesting shift in consumer behaviour.
Epstein said: “Data consumption figures suggest we are increasingly ‘mocial’, which means we are communicating via our mobile devices on social media platforms more.”
‘Mocial’ appears to be a new word Optus has made up which it defines as ‘accessing of social applications on mobile phone or other mobile device’.
So, what about Optus’ New Year Predictions?
Epstein says: “This New Year’s Eve we know customers will use instant message services, ‘check in’ on social media platforms and share their celebrations by uploading images and videos. We predict data volumes on the Optus network will increase by nearly 60 per cent compared to New Year’s Eve 2013.
“This data consumption will set the platform for 2015 which we expect to be the year of 4G, data and video, as 4G services expand and new devices become available for consumers.”
Then Optus reminds us that it is expanding its network nationally with 700MHz spectrum from New Year’s Day, as the new 700MHz 4G spectrum becomes available.
Epstein continues: “From January 1, 700MHz spectrum will be officially available which means more people nationally will enjoy superfast 4G.
“Optus is rolling out 700MHz in the capital cities and in more and more regional towns, rural and holiday areas. Some Optus customers in regional Australia will enjoy 4G services for the first time.”
Optus will bring 4G coverage to 40% of the Australian population by April 2015, with Epstein noting that: “4G improves the data experience. We know that customers are hungry for data whether they are downloading music, TV and movies on the go, gaming on their tablets or uploading images and video. With 4G, they are able to enjoy faster data.”
Optus notes it has already ‘turned on 4G sites in more than 50 regional towns, and in many holiday centres after being granted early access licence approval to 700 MHz spectrum from Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).’
Plenty of existing 4G smartphones including the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Androids including the LG G3, Galaxy S5, Xperia Z3 and HTC One M8 are already compatible with the Optus 4G 700MHz network.
You can see the Optus 4G expansion plans at the Optus coverage site here.