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Belgians send holiday greetings through internet

11:33 26/12/2014

Two out of three Belgian telecom operators reported less text messages were sent this year on December 24 than last year. Belgians are increasingly using smartphones to send holiday greetings via the Internet, conclude the operators. Proximus saw a 220% increase in mobile data traffic compared to last year.

Belgians sent about 30.7 million text messages, or Short Message Service (SMS), this Christmas Eve, while last year about 33 million SMS were sent. Proximus counted a total of 11.3 million SMS messages through its network, a decrease of 12% compared to last year. Telecom operator Base also saw a decrease in the number of SMS sent on Christmas Eve, with 6,035 million messages, or 15% less than last year. Mobistar customers sent 13.4 million SMS, about as many as in 2013.

The telecom operators this year noted a sharp rise in mobile data usage, for a total of about 26.5 million megabytes (MB). The largest increase was at Proximus, which saw its data usage increase from 4.4 million MB in 2013 to 14 million MB in 2014 (+220%). Data usage was up 70% at Base, for a total of 7.7 million MB. At Mobistar, data usage remained stable compared to last year, at around 4.8 million MB.

"Smartphones are becoming more affordable and the packages contain more and more mobile data," said Proximus spokeswoman Frédérique Verbiest. She adds that the 4G data traffic at Proximus on Christmas Eve was 25 times larger than on the same day in 2013.

Written by Robyn Boyle