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America's Cup causes Kiwi mobile data usage spike

18 Sep 13

Tens of thousands of New Zealanders are taking in the gripping America’s Cup yachting action via their mobile phones and tablets, causing a massive spike in mobile data consumption.

Experienced primarily during the most recent two America’s Cup races on Monday morning, Telecom reported a huge surge in phone data come race time.

As Team New Zealand set off in the first race shortly after 8am, data consumption rose to almost double the normal level for that time of day – and spiked again an hour or so later when the second race began.

“People are live streaming the game over their mobiles, either using their browser and news websites or via the America’s Cup app,” says Chris Quin, CEO, Telecom Retail.

“We now have around 60% of our 1.8 million mobile customers using smartphones and once you get to that sort of tipping point you start to see a real change in behaviours.

"This spike shows how people are accessing information differently as they now increasingly have the tools (like apps and mobile optimised sites) to do so.

“People are also communicating about the race over social media as they watch it – tweeting their followers at key moments and posting on Facebook about the need for therapy to cope with the stress of close races!

"We’re seeing more and more of this when it comes to big live events.

“The thirst for data – anywhere, anytime - is becoming more and more valued by our customers and in recognition of this, we have increased the data allowances in several of our key mobile plans this week.”

Shame this morning's race was called off though…

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