As in previous years, Belgians took to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp, rather than text messages to send Christmas greetings. The use of mobile data on smart phones thus continues to increase, while the number of text messages keeps going down, according to figures from telecoms operators for the night of 24 December.
For the country’s biggest service provider, Proximus, data use increased by 83% over last year, reaching 59,159 gigabytes. About 7,237,098 text messages were exchanged on the night of Christmas Eve, a drop of close to 12%. The decrease is also clear when comparing the highest number of text messages sent per second: 627 messages this year as against 710 in 2016.
Similar situation at Orange, through which 54,000 gigabytes of wishes were sent, a 50% increase over last year. Text messages went down by 20% to 7 million. The highest number of text messages sent per second – 377 – was at midnight. Voice calls, which went down by just over half, amounted to more than a million.
“Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now the favourite ways to send Christmas greetings,” an Orange spokesman commented. “More and more people have smart phones and users are increasingly more connected, even at the Christmas Eve table.”
For its part, Telenet registered 47,155 gigabytes of data used, a 57% increase on 2016. “Mobile telephone clients on the Telenet network (Telenet, BASE, Mobile Vikings, JIM Mobile, Lyca…) sent 5.38 million text messages, 9% down from 2016,” the company said in a press release.