New Zealanders streamed into the New Year, breaking data usage records as they welcomed 2019.

Nationally Kiwis consumed more than 90.4 terabytes of mobile data on the Vodafone network on New Year's Eve, compared to 64.4 terabytes of mobile data across the country during the same period last year.

According to Vodafone technology director Tony Baird, that's equivalent to streaming 40 hours of television in only six hours.

Given Kiwis aren't always near city centres during the holiday periods, telcos have had to invest in technology to ensure their networks remain strong across the country.


"When it comes to favourite places to ring in the New Year, Kiwis tend to either gather en masse in popular areas like Rhythm & Vines in Gisborne or head out to remote baches and cribs to get away from it all," says Baird.

"We've had our technology team putting in the hours over the Christmas and New Year period to make sure our customers get the same seamless experience at holiday destinations, as they would at home."

In addition to upgrading sites in more remote areas, telcos have also been innovating with cell sites on wheels (so-called COWs) to give Kiwis better online access.

However, staying connected isn't only about the internet. Many Kiwis also kept it old school, sending 5.53 million text messages to wish their loved ones a happy new year. That is only 11 per cent down from the 6.2 million sent last year.