Kiwis have been spreading more Christmas cheer than ever through their mobile devices this year, using nearly double the amount of data they did last year.

Nationally, New Zealanders consumed 411 terabytes (TB) of data over Christmas Day and Boxing Day on the Vodafone network, which is equivalent to streaming 182,666 hours of video.

It's a 73 per cent increase on last year's usage of 238 TB of data over the same period, and a data usage record.

According to Vodafone, the most popular times to steal away to catch up on favourite shows or check out the latest online content was between 9-10pm on each of the days, with data traffic hitting peak use levels of 12.7 TB and 14.08 TB respectively.

On a technology level, 4G data volume increased by a massive 125.4 per cent year on year.


This year's high use showed exactly why investment in New Zealand's holiday hotspots in the lead-up to Christmas was so important, said Vodafone technology director Tony Baird.

"We invested heavily, spending a million dollars upgrading sites from 3G to 4G and adding additional capacity like our cell sites on wheels to bring faster speeds to support the influx of holidaymakers," he said.

"Some of these areas may go to triple the usual data consumption in a single day as people flock to the beach or favourite picnic spot when there's great weather. We know how important it is to stay connected with family and friends, and that's why having a robust network like Vodafone is vital."

Kiwis also sent nearly 1.27 million SMS or TXTs per hour at a peak time of 9am on Christmas Day, compared to 1.18m SMS messages at last year's Christmas peak.

Overall a total of 16.8m SMS or TXTS were sent on Christmas day this year, compared with 16m last year, a 5 per cent increase.

"Smartphones, tablets and laptops are at the heart of how Kiwis are staying in touch now. Our technology team have been hard at work to make sure they get the same seamless experience on our network at holiday destinations as they would at home," Baird said.