A Galaxy research surveyed that two-thirds of all customers across all service providers are expected to use more data over the Christmas season. Data usage is higher among Gen Y's with almost 75 per cent of younger people saying that Christmas causes their usage to go up.
The survey finds that:
- As many as 44% of smartphone users are planning to travel away from home this Christmas holiday period. Most of these (36%) plan to travel within Australia while 9% plan to travel overseas.
- Australian travellers also use their mobile phones to access social media (40%), for navigation/maps (34%), to share special moments through pictures and videos (32%) and to access information on local trips, restaurants or things to do (30%).
- The main reasons for planning to travel away over the Christmas holiday are to spend more time together as a family (60%) and to be able to relax away from the normal routine (57%).
(The study, implemented by Galaxy research, was conducted in November 2013 among a sample of n=1,255 Australians aged 18 to 64 years.)
Hence, Vodafone is seeing that more customers will be using apps like What'sApp, Viber, Kik and Instagram to send messages instead of sending SMS or MMS.
"We have seen an extraordinary increase in customers' appetites for data over the past year and we expect this to jump again this Christmas and New Year's period. The majority of Australia is out there over the holidays spending time with friends and family, and with more free time, people have the time to share photos, watch videos and play games on their phones," said Chief Marketing Officer Kim Clarke.
A typical What'sApp message will use about 10KB of data to send a message containing just text, with 300KB-1MB data to send a photo.
"We actually don't expect to see an increase in the number of SMSs sent this Christmas, for the first time in about 20 years. There's a definite trend towards using apps instead, which use data. Instagram is also wildly popular at the moment. People are now sharing photos with many - via Instagram - rather than traditional MMS where you share a photo with one or two people," Ms Clarke added.
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