Telstra predicts text, data surge on NYE

When there’s cause for celebration, you can bet that we all love to cheer and send messages to friends and loved ones. This year, those celebrations will be bigger than ever.

In fact, for telecommunications network Telstra, they’re not just going to be bigger, but found in more abundance, as the telco predicts just what it expects to storm its network this evening.

To say we like to celebrate is a bit of an understatement: we’ll be screaming it across the globe. Hardly surprising since we’ll be one of the first nations to see the new year in.

As such, Telstra is predicting almost one petabyte of data will be downloaded on New Year’s Eve, with the amount expected to surge to 900,000GB, more than twice what Australians downloaded on the same night last year.

You can probably put that down to how many smartphones there are in Australia, with many of these devices featuring a fast 4G connection allowing Aussies to take photos and send them with high-speed connections, letting us see more selfies, videos, and messages.

Standard text messages will also be sent in large quantities, too, with 11.5 million text messages expected to be sent between the hours of 11pm on December 31 and 2am on January 1.

Those of you still using MMS to send picture messages and video messages instead of data networks like Facebook and Snapchat will together push through a good 600,000 multimedia messages, seeing Telstra’s network churn through roughly 12 million messages in the space of four hours.

“The explosion in mobile usage and the increasing access to high-speed 4G technology have created more ways for people to connect,” said Channa Seneviratne, Director for Wireless Network Engineering at Telstra.

“The amount of data we predict to be downloaded on New Year’s Eve is the equivalent of one person continuously watching 90 years of High Definition content, which is a fair load for the network to carry.”

Worth remembering is that Telstra’s network is one of three major networks in Australia, so expect Optus and Vodafone to be carrying similar loads, telling you just how much data Aussies will be churning through when New Year’s arrives.


There is a catch, however, and that is overload: the more people you have in one place trying to send the same message, the more chance a network will struggle to send and receive to all of those devices at once.

Anyone who has tried sending a message at New Year’s knows this dilemma all too well, with networks put under the pump and struggling to get your message out.

To help get around this, Telstra is offering 50 messages free to customers of any network provided they use the Sydney NYE app for Apple iPhone and Google Android.


At the stroke of midnight AEST, any messages logged into the system before the 10pm cut-off time will be sent out, letting the Telstra system do the hard work for you instead of fighting for a spot in the network at the time first day of 2016 begins.

We’ve tested it and can attest that you don’t have to be a Telstra customer to take part, though you will lose 23 characters of the traditional 160 character SMS to the words “- Connected by Telstra”, part and parcel of the service being supplied for free, we suspect.