Happy New Era

Last year on The Blue, we reported on the huge spike in SMS (text messages) delivered by O2 as Big Ben chimed to mark the start of 2013. This year, things were the same. But also, a little bit different…

Text-based messages via WhatsApp. Kik. Viber, BBM (or one of the countless other apps available) are actually sent over the data network, as are iMessages sent between Apple devices. Then there’s Snapchat, as well as the other apps you’d usually associate with sharing moments using a mixture of text, photos and video – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

So when you take all of these platforms and add the annual moment where everyone has something to say, you get a data explosion like never before.

As people opted for an alternative approach to the standard ‘HNY LOL’ text message, our network carried a whopping 62% more data over the New Year period in 2014 than it did for the same period in 2013 – that’s 70% more than on a normal day. And it didn’t end there – on New Year’s Day, we saw a 58% increase on January 1 2013.

The days of a Happy New Year text aren’t over – far from it – but there’s no denying that data is the new black. And, with our 4G network now covering a third of the UK’s population – that’s about 18 million people – we expect that data’s going to play an increasingly bigger role in sharing even more with friends and family – like birthdays, wedding days, Saturdays…