Data use up this New Year's Eve, but text messages on the decline

Vodafone is scrambling to roll out 4G at holiday spots as data usage continues to spike. 

4G has been added to popular destinations such as the Coromandel, Queenstown and Mt Maunganui. 

Technology director Tony Baird says this new year, data usage was up 35 percent on 12 months ago.

"At holiday hotspots and key events like Rhythm and Vines we put in cell sites on wheels - we've just doubled the fleet. We're also in the process of upgrading 400 cell sites across New Zealand with 4.5G."

Kiwis consumed more than 121.96TB of mobile data on New Year's Eve - equivalent to approximately 50,000 HD movies - compared with 90.41TB the year before.

Baird says they plan to roll out 5G in the regions over the next two years.

"We've just seen a massive, massive spike in usage - as people get faster devices they're consuming more video, doing two-way video calling. Data is just skyrocketing with 5G overseas."

But there is one communications technology on the decline.

Kiwis sent only 4.8 million text or SMS messages on New Year's Eve, compared to 5.5 million the year before - down 13 percent. 

"Over the past few years, we've seen the numbers of SMS messages decline as people turn to video services and messaging apps, and as phones continue to grow smarter. This means the volumes of data are on the rise, which is a trend that will no doubt continue."

4.5G technology is an upgrade on 4G, but nothing compared to 5G, which is said to be up to 100 times faster.