Smartphones and tablets have become an essential part of our lives, and the holiday period is no exception. Vodafone has released details of festive data usage to show how 4G played a huge role in Christmas, and how 4G use has grown generally over the last year.
4G use over Christmas
Over Christmas Vodafone customers used 4G to upload pictures on social media, send Christmas messages to friends and family, and stream their favourite Christmas music. On Christmas Day itself, users started checking social media sites at around 6am, a little earlier than on standard days which begin at 6.30am. Users finally switched off at around 11pm, later than a typical day where most people stop using their smartphone at around 9.40pm.
Social media traffic increased 76% when compared with last Christmas, mainly due to uploading festive selfies or other Christmas pictures. Data use on the Vodafone network increased dramatically this year, with Christmas Day data consumption measured at 92% higher than last year. Social media accounted for a large amount of this data, with a significant peak at around 6pm.
Vodafone customers also used their smartphones for more traditional forms of communication. Almost 40 million voice calls were made on the Vodafone UK network during Christmas Day, and text message on the network peaked at 10am as customers used this method to send out a little Christmas cheer to their friends and relatives.
Music streaming was another popular activity on Christmas Day, with lunchtime seeing the highest peak in streaming as users listened to Christmas songs while getting the turkey ready. The use of Spotify Premium on Vodafone mobiles increased 140% from last Christmas.
New Year was also a big night for 4G data usage, as well as being the 30th anniversary of the first ever mobile phone call made on the Vodafone network. Vodafone customers used 50% more data over New Year than they did the previous year, largely through sharing images of their celebrations and wishing their friends and Happy New Year.
4G use in 2014
The amount of data that travelled across the Vodafone network increased dramatically in 2014, and the network now carries tens of thousands of terabytes of data as customers check news and sports, access social media, and share photos using mobile devices. The major mobile events of 2014 included England v Australia one-day cricket, St. Patrick’s Day, the local elections, the death of FC Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova, England v Costa Rica football match, France v Germany football match, and Chelsea v Aston Villa football match.
According to Petek Ergul, Vodafone UK Head of Mobile Networks: “2014 broke all previous records for the amount of data which travelled across our network. From a single call 30 years ago, we now carry tens of thousands of terabytes of information. The continued success of our 4G plans, which offer customers a choice of leading content, coupled with our investment of more than £1 billion on the network and services played a big part in this growth. For example, our 4G customers streamed more than 35 million hours of music on Spotify over the last year, with average listening time for an active Spotify user of 20 hours a month.”