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Online traffic surges as Kiwis head online over festive season - Vodafone

New Zealanders put their devices to good use across the festive season, connecting with friends and whānau in Aotearoa and across the world, and hitting record highs for data usage, according to new findings from Vodafone New Zealand.

Nationally, Vodafone customers consumed 1,178 TB (Tera Bytes) of data on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, compared to 777 TB of data across New Zealand during the same two days last year, representing a 52% increase year-on-year.

That’s equivalent to Kiwis streaming more than one million hours of video in just two days, the telecommunications provider says.

According to the findings, the most popular time to go online - such as to stream content, video-call, or check out the latest online deals - was between 8 - 11pm on both Christmas and Boxing Day, with the peaks seeing 33.28 TB and 37.63 TB of data used respectively.

Vodafone New Zealand head of platforms, Sharina Nisha, says the digital services company was working around the clock to ensure customers stay connected. 

“We’ve been expecting internet traffic to spike this Christmas, as people stay connected to friends and whānau using digital tools especially while the borders are closed, but this large growth is still mind-blowing," she says.

“Some holiday destinations are seeing double the usual data consumption already, which we expect will continue as people head away for New Years," says Nisha.

"We have teams of people on-duty 24/7 to monitor our internet and phone networks, and we’re going to be boosting coverage at busy locations and events by installing temporary cell sites on wheels (COWs)," she explains.

Some of the destinations with increased holiday capacity include Paihia, Omaha, Whangamata, Waihi, Mount Maunganui, Marlborough, Kaiteriteri and Otematata, just to name a few – as well as popular festivals such as Northern Bass in Mangawhai, Bay Dreams Nelson, and Rhythm & Alps in Queenstown.

“Throughout 2020 we’ve invested in upgrading cell sites around the country and preparing for what we expect will be a bumper summer as Kiwis flock to popular hotspots," says Nisha.

"Internet and phone networks have become even more essential this year during the pandemic to continue working and learning, but smartphones and devices are obviously incredibly important for entertainment purposes also."


*TB: Tera Byte. Tera (T or million million) is a 1 with 12 zeros to its right
**Christmas period measured ran from 12am on 25 December to 11pm on 26 December