Tenfold increase in mobile internet use on New Year’s Eve over 5 years ago

33% year-on-year growth in mobile data traffic on New Year’s Eve

Telenor analysed network traffic on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and compared it to that in previous years in terms of mobile internet, voice and SMS usage. On New Year’s Eve, when no events were held and a curfew was in effect, Telenor measured a significant increase on its network.

Greetings and entertainment on the internet

Mobile internet usage has been growing from year to year reaching peak levels during social events and holidays including New Year. This year, Telenor’s mobile network saw a 33% increase in traffic despite the curfew in effect.

Interestingly, not only traffic but also the number of mobile internet users hit a new record on New Year’s Eve. With online music and television streaming services becoming an integral part of daily entertainment, online services played a more important role at this year’s home New Year parties. Online greetings, video parties and the use of music streaming services all contributed to the tenfold increase in mobile internet traffic on New Year’s Eve over the same day 5 years ago.

Verbal greetings are usually made after midnight, while making voice calls is acceptable from 11:00 a.m. on 1 January

Moving from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day, the first hour after midnight tends to have the largest number of calls, 7 to 10 times higher than during the hours before and after. This pattern prevailed this year which indicates that many people still prefer to wish their friends and loved ones a Happy New Year as early as possible. This year, these calls initiated by Telenor customers were 20% longer on average than last year.

New Year’s Day is a day when most people relax. Based on network traffic, however, it is not impolite to make a voice call after 11:00 a.m. when the number of voice call minutes peaked out this year. At 11:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day, people generated 21% more voice call minutes and made 12% longer calls on average than in 2020. The next peak in voice calls was around 4:00 p.m. in both years.

Evergreen SMS

Although online chat apps offer versatility and voice calls are typically more meaningful, SMS is still a popular channel for sharing online greetings. Although the number of SMS messages sent at midnight was somewhat lower this year than the year before, it exceeded the previous year’s level in the morning of 1 January 2021. Interestingly, the highest New Year SMS traffic was measured between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. which suggests that many people sent their greetings or responded to SMS messages received in this part of the day.
Mobile internet traffic has been increasing steadily in Telenor’s network from the year to year, and the length of voice calls has also been on the rise which is due partly to the availability of tariffs including a sizeable data allowance, a virtually unlimited mobile internet experience and unlimited airtime.