Data surges as New Year’s eve celebrations commence.

It’s New Year’s Eve – you’re heading out to celebrate the festivities with friends and family. You’ve got your keys, your wallet and of course, your smartphone. The clock chimes midnight, and after a minute or two of (tuneless!) Auld Lang Syne, phones are out and heads are down as you’re drawn into the virtual well-wishing taking place in the palm of your hand.

Maybe it’s me, but I seemed to notice it even more this year – the friends and family that I spent New Year’s with couldn’t leave their phones alone. From Twitpics of fireworks, to Facebook wall posts wishing people all the best, my nearest and dearest certainly took advantage of being linked in to the wider world through their 3G connections.

And it appears we were on trend. Across the whole of the UK we saw an incredible 600% increase in the smartphone data travelling across our network compared to New Year’s Eve 2010.

On the 31st December ’10 we recorded a huge 14TBs (terabytes) of data being used on Three. In 2011, that leapt to a staggering 80TBs of data. In real terms, that’s the equivalent of almost 21 million MP3 tracks or roughly 118,000 movies being downloaded onto smartphones in the UK in just 24-hours.

And it didn’t stop there! You continued using data through to New Year’s Day, with 74TBs used compared to 14TBs the year before.

Facebook was one of the most popular services as people rung in the New Year, with a 20% jump in traffic between midnight and 1am.

There’s a lot to look forward to in 2012. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the new smartphones that’ll be hitting the market to help you make the most of the apps and internet services that have emerged in 2011 – and all safe in the knowledge that with all-you-can-eat data you can use them as much as you like.

Happy New Year!

5 Responses to Data surges as New Year’s eve celebrations commence.
  1. Moderator: Kris

    @Goat It may still happen (hopefully it didn’t though) purely due to the type of celebration that NYE is. Congestion will usually take place when barrel loads of people are in the same vicinity, using the same masts for the same purpose at the exact same time. It’s more likely to happen if you’re in a confined area with lots of people sending messages, just like may happen at a concert or a club. The advent of social networking may mean that less people are texting and more people are tweeting as Auld Lang Syne rings out, but if there is a lot of increased activity on a mast, as happens at NYE, then this may still occur.

  2. Goat

    Each year I get really early “happy new year” massages from people saying they’re doing it to beat the clog/jam around midnight.
    But that’s just a myth/old info, isn’t it? I remember a decade or 2 ago it might jam and you’d get some almost an hour late (even several copies of the same SMS sometimes), but I’m fairly sure SMS if unaffected at midnight NYE nowadays. But, I’m not sure, and I’m not sure if the increased number of mobiles accessing Facebook at midnight nowadays slows the SMS systems?

  3. PiRat


    0.7Mbps in one place with HSPA+ and a full signal, weird though because it’s usually at least 2Mbps bare minimum, like in the next smaller town it was nearly 4Mbps with HSPA+.

  4. Darren Neal

    Happy new year to all @three uk and well done on keeping the uk connected over the festive period :)

  5. Danny

    Happy New Year.

    Those are some impressive numbers, congratulations to everyone at Three who made this possible. I know that the experience of myself and my friends and family that are on Three was one of full availability for voice, text and mobile data as the midnight hour arrived. Not too long after I was watching a YouTube video of the fireworks taken by a friend who was in London, taken on his Nokia Lumia 800 and posted up over The One Plan with AYCE. Not too many years back that would have been unthinkable.

    Quite looking forward to the next stage of HSPA+ from the Three network, capacity increases and better (more even) coverage across the UK.

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