Mobile networks braced for busiest ever New Year surge

One operator, EE, has predicted that its customers alone will use more than 226 terabytes – 236,978,176 megabytes – of mobile data as they took to Twitter and instant messaging services. The network said it expected around 303 million calls to be made and 234 million texts to be sent.
Last year, the busiest time for sending messages was at 00:05 GMT. Vodafone told the BBC that at its peak New Year’s Eve 2011 saw more than 12,000 texts handled in a single second.
More than two million texts were sent over the network in a five minute period after midnight. Other networks have said that they would make sure their services are operating at maximum capacity throughout the evening.
"We’ll ensure we keep any maintenance work to a minimum which will help customers send and receive text and picture messages via their mobiles," a spokesman for O2 said.
This year, it is expected that more people will turn to services such as Skype, Whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook to send well wishes to friends and family.
EE said it expected data usage to be up 97.8% on 2011, while Vodafone too expected a substantial rise in use. Last year, it said, more than a million of its customers accessed Facebook between the hours of 18:00 GMT on the 31 December to 06:00 GMT on the 1 January.