Aussies set to wish each other Merry Pic-mas

Media Release, 18 December 2012

Aussies will be keeping their fingers busy this Christmas with Telstra predicting a record-breaking 70 per cent increase in picture messages sent over the Christmas period*.

Telstra Country Wide Executive Director, Rebekah O’Flaherty said Telstra expects customers will send more than six million picture messages to loved ones, as they open presents and tuck into Christmas lunch.

“Throughout the past year we’ve seen Aussies continue to embrace picture messaging as a way to connect with family and friends,” Ms O’Flaherty said.

“The nation’s huge increase in smartphone use, improvements in phone camera quality and access to high-speed 4G technology mean sending pictures and videos has become even more popular.

“Christmas is a time for sharing experiences and making memories. Sending pics of Christmas presents, Dad in a Santa hat or Mum’s famous Christmas turkey helps people feel like they are a part of the celebrations, even if they’re not in the room.”

While picture messaging will break records this festive season, Telstra expects SMS will remain the most popular way for Aussies to connect. Telstra’s network engineers predict more than125 million text messages will be sent across the nation - a 17 per cent increase on 2011.

“Traditionally the most texts are sent on Christmas Day between 8am and 1pm, which is followed by a steady drop in traffic between 3pm and 4pm as people go outside to play backyard cricket or have a nap in the shade,” Ms O’Flaherty said

Christmas Day also sees the most number of international calls being made from Australian homes.

“Christmas is the busiest day of the year for our national and international directory assistance operators and we expect around 300,000 international calls will be made from Australia on Christmas Day, with New Zealand, the UK and the USA being the most popular call destinations.

“To make Christmas calling as easy as possible, customers should avoid peak calling times for the most popular international destinations.

“Callers should also check international area codes and telephone numbers before  hand as protocols can change throughout the year," .

If calling friends and family overseas, Telstra recommends:

  • UK and Europe - before 5am or between 4pm and 6pm, avoid the busiest time of 6pm to midnight.
  • New Zealand - before 7am or between 1pm and 7pm, avoid 7am to 1pm.
  • Asia - before 7pm, avoid 7pm to midnight.
  • USA and Canada - before 5am or between 2pm and 6pm, avoid 5am to noon.

Telstra is also predicting Aussies will make more than 1.25 million STD calls during the Christmas period.

*Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day