Telekomunikasi Selular, or Telkomsel, the cellular operator unit of state-controlled Telekomunikasi Indonesia's the country's largest telecommunication company, saw data traffic during the Islamic holiday rise to 2,700 terabyte, up from 2,500 terabytes last year. (JG Photo/Dhana Kencana)

Telecom Firms See Data Traffic Double During Holiday

BY :HERMAN

JULY 08, 2016

Jakarta. Telecommunication operators reported data traffic during Idul Fitri day doubled this year compared to last year as customers make use of faster 4G mobile networks to send multimedia greetings, make internet calls or post updates to social media and connect with friends and relatives.

Telekomunikasi Selular, or Telkomsel, the cellular operator unit of state-controlled Telekomunikasi Indonesia's the country's largest telecommunication company, saw data traffic during the Islamic holiday rise to 2,700 terabyte, up from 2,500 terabytes last year.

The traffic represented a 12 percent increase from average usage in normal days this year, Adita Irawati, vice president corporate communications at Telkomsel, said in a statement on Friday (08/07).

Adita also noted voice calls fell 4 percent to 1.5 billion minutes compared to the normal days, while short message service only saw a 1 percent increase.

Rival XL Axiata, the local unit of Malaysia's telecommunication company, saw a similar trend. The company handled over 1,428 terabytes of data traffic during Idul Fitri, up 130 percent from the same period last year. Video streaming account for 40 percent of the traffic, followed by web browsing (22 percent), social media (21 percent) and the remainder for Internet calls and instant messenger.

"As predicted earlier, social media and instant messaging become major tools to connect during Idul Fitri holiday. Also, customers tend to require more data to express themselves ... Hence increasing number of photograph and videos uploads to social media," said Yessie D. Yosetya, chief service management officer at XL Axiata.

Facebook traffic on Idul Fitri rose 19 percent compared to normal days, Yessie said, while Instagram, Path and Twitter increased by 32, 53 and 40 percent respectively.

Instant messaging services Line rose 32 percent, higher than Whatsapp's increase of 24 percent. Blackberry Messenger traffic on the other hand stagnated during the holiday, XL Axiata data showed.

Yessie said mobile operators have noticed customers shifting to data services from the conventional voice and short message services in the last four years.

Telkomsel and XL Axiata introduced 4G networks in 2014 before expanding the coverage to include almost all major cities in the country, further accelerating the trend.

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