New Year's text messages down significantly from last year - Focus Taiwan

New Year's text messages down significantly from last year

Taipei, Jan. 1 (CNA) The number of text messages carried by local telecom operators on New Year's Eve fell by as much as 35 percent from a year earlier as more smart phone users have brought the conversation to instant messaging apps and social media.

Chunghwa Telecom, the largest telecom services provider in Taiwan, said that while mobile data services volume on its network soared 280 percent year-on-year late Wednesday, its SMS volume plummeted 35 percent from a year earlier.

Far Eastone Telecommunications, the third biggest carrier, said SMS volume dropped by about 10 percent, while minor operator Taiwan Star Cellular Corp. said SMS use dropped 20 percent while data rose 100 percent. Data from Taiwan Mobile Co., the second biggest carrier, was not yet readily available on Thursday.

Chunghwa Telecom said that many businesses still sent text messages with New Year's greetings to customers, but the implementation of 4G cellular service in May has seen more people using apps like LINE, WhatsApp and WeChat as well as social media like Facebook.

The company said that to meet the explosive increase in mobile data demand on New Year's Eve, it raised capacity of Web connectivity by 80 percent from a year earlier by adding 90 mobile base stations and 87 temporary base stations.

Far Eastone also added 116 mobile base stations islandwide to meet demand, which it said helped it handle the mass messages of well-wishing overnight.

It said mobile data use of 4G service grew more significantly than that of its 3G services.

Taiwan Star, meanwhile, said that its operations remained smooth despite a jump in demand at locations such as Taipei City Hall, Taichung Stadium, Kaohsiung's Dream Mall and E-Da World, where crowds flocked for countdown parties.

(By Esme Jiang and Frances Huang)enditem/WH

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