Online traffic spikes as Vodafone NZ records high data usage

Kiwis put their devices to good use this festive season, connecting with friends and whānau in Aotearoa and internationally, and hitting record highs for data usage across the Vodafone NZ networks.

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 an astounding 52% increase year-on-year.

That’s equivalent to Kiwis streaming more than one million hours of video in just two days.

The most popular time to go online – such as 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, said 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.”

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

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.

Nisha adds: “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. 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!”