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Optus predicts a 78% peak increase year on year in mobile data prior to Christmas

SYDNEY 20 December 2012. New research from Optus1 reveals one in three Australians are shying away from traditional presents under the tree, choosing instead to give digital gifts like app cards, digital music vouchers and e-books.

Despite the growing popularity of digital gifting, 87 per cent of Australians think digital gifts aren’t as personal as wrapped presents. The majority (90 per cent) feel that not as much thought goes into buying gift cards.

So why are people turning to technology in place of traditional presents under the tree? Almost a third (28 per cent) cited the ease and convenience of buying digital gifts, especially when they’re doing last minute shopping. Even more rely on digital gifts to take the stress out of Christmas shopping and search for new ideas.

With the rise in digital gifting, Optus expects 2012 to be a data-driven holiday season as more customers use their mobiles. Optus forecasts that in the week leading up to Christmas, the peak load of mobile data will be 78 per cent higher compared to the same period last year2.

However, calls and texts will still form the communication foundation between Australians, as we wish our loved ones a Merry Christmas. On Christmas Day, Optus predicts its customers will3:

Send more than 74 million SMSs – an increase of over 6 per cent compared to last year4
Make over 38 million mobile calls – an increase of over 2 per cent compared to last year5
Make more than 27 million local and national calls
Collectively spend more than 4 million minutes calling overseas friends and family

Optus anticipates the three most popular overseas destinations for calls on Christmas Day will be Vietnam, United Kingdom and India.  
Clare Gill, Head of Government and Corporate Affairs, Optus said, “It’s not surprising digital gifts are gaining popularity considering the Aussie love affair with using their devices to do more online.”

It will be interesting to see how our customers use their mobile devices over the holidays. Christmas Day is a busy period and we’re expecting mobile data going through our network to peak at 54 per cent more than the same day last year6.”

“We’ve worked hard to ensure our superfast 4G network is robust, allowing our data hungry customers to jump online to purchase digital gifts, tweet or Facebook their friends and Skype their families overseas this holiday season.”

Aussies agree that digital gifts ensure the person they’re buying for actually ends up with what they want. But if you feel digital gifts are a too easy option, why not join the 42 per cent of Australians in buying something else to go with it, such as a nice card for an added personal touch.