Telstra has boosted its mobile network capacity in anticipation of yet another record-breaking attempt on text and call volumes over the new year holiday.
Michael Rocca, infrastructure services managing director at Telstra, said the company’s technicians had boosted Australia’s mobile network capacity to cope with expected record call and SMS volumes on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
New Year's Eve to New Year's Day was usually the busiest 48-hour period of the year for telecommunications, as users telephoned friends and family with holiday greetings, he said.
"Our engineers have been rolling up their sleeves to install portable base stations and increase mobile phone capacity at various celebration locations and holiday destinations across the country in anticipation of record network traffic,” Rocca said.
Telstra was increasing mobile capacity in almost 100 locations around Australia, such as Sydney Harbour and Milsons Point in Sydney, Southbank and Bourke St Mall in Melbourne, City Beach and Fremantle in Western Australia, Surfers Paradise and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and Rundle Street in Adelaide, he said.
Many of the boosted locations are traditional centres of Australian New Year celebrations.
“If previous New Year's calling and SMS volumes are replicated with additional annual growth, Telstra anticipates more than 22 million SMS messages to be sent across Telstra's network on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day,” Telstra said in a statement.
Telstra customers were expected to make another 23 million mobile calls as they celebrated the arrival of the new year. Last year customers sent 19.6 million SMS messages and made 19.3 voice calls, the company said.
However, Rocca warned that some customers might suffer “short delays” when calling or texting on New Year's Eve, despite the additional network capacity.
"Wait a couple of minutes before trying again," he said. "Network congestion is inevitable on any network at any time.”
Rocca said the extra capacity would bring Telstra’s network “well within international standards” on the highest-volume night of the year.