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Cell phone usage up this Christmas

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MTN has recorded a 16% increase in traffic over the Christmas season, with 2,15-billion calls being made over the recently-upgraded network – compared to 1,87-billion over the same period in 2006. 

SMS traffic also increased by 16% from last year’s figure, with 2007 being the first year MTN made complete use of its inhouse-developed SMS system to handle peak traffic.
“Our SMSC coped very well during this period and the contingency plans we had in place did not have to be implemented,” says Bernice Samuels, GM: MTN Brand & Corporate Affairs at MTN South Africa.
On Christmas Day, MTN received 867 SMSs per second from MTN handsets and handled a total of 65,25-million SMSs on the day. On 1 January 2008, 906 SMSs per second were received from MTN handsets. MTN achieved success rate of up to 98% on the SMS originators.
A total of 223-billion SMS were sent on 24 December, 25 December, 31 December and 1 January.
The number of people sending MMSs during December increased by 18% from November 2007, with an increase of 35% from the previous year.
One of the greeting cards MTN had available for Christmas was forwarded more than 10 000 times in one day.  MTN had greeting cards available in four languages on *123# for customers to personalise and forward to their friends, instead of sending a text only message.
“MTN is committed to improving the customer experience in every way possible," says Samuels. "In 2007 we added additional GPRS core equipment in Cape Town to supplement the existing equipment in Gauteng. Many of the servers have been significantly upgraded, international capacity was increased, and an additional 45Mbps international link from Cape Town was made available. The 3G/HSDPA network is in the best condition ever and has measured performance to rival the best in the world."