Fewer New Year’s greetings sent by text

Three of the four main mobile phone network operators report a fall in the number of text messages being sent on New Year’s Eve compared with previous years. It would appear that the popularity of text messaging as a method of conveying New Year’s greetings is now past it peak.

The fall in the number of text messages sent is common to all operators with the exception of Telenet. Proximus customers sent 27.2 million text messages, down from 30 million last year.

Meanwhile, Mobistar customers sent 23.5 million texts (down 0.5 million) and Base customers sent 13.4 million texts (down 0.7 million on last year). Telenet reports that the number of texts its customers sent went up from 4.3 million on New Year’s Eve 2012 to 5.8 million this time around.

Despite the fall, Proximus’ Frédérique Verbiest told journalists that the number of texts being sent is still huge.

On a normal day Proximus customers would normally send just 9 million texts between 8pm and 8am.

Rise in mobile data use

While the number of texts fell, the number of Belgians sending New Year’s Greetings via their tablets or smartphone rose spectacularly compared to other years.

Between 8pm on Tuesday and 8am on Wednesday Proximus customers used 5 million MB of data, up 80% on last year. Mobistar says mobile data use (4.5 million MB) was triple what it was on New Year’s Eve 2012. Base reports that mobile data use was 5 million MB, double what it was last time. Telenet says that its customers used 2.3 million MB of data.

All the operators says that there were no network capacity problems like those experienced in previous years?