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Wireless — a drop in the data ocean

Statistics New Zealand’s Internet Service Provider Survey 2016 provides an interesting perspective on the role of wireless data:

  • 143,109 terabytes of data used in June by broadband connections.
  • 3,165 terabytes of data used in June by mobile phone internet connections.

That makes wireless data about two per cent of the total data downloads during the month of June. In other words, wireless is a mere drop in the data ocean.

Even if Spark and Vodafone maxed-out their fixed wireless networks, the total amount of wireless data traffic would not rise much above six per cent of New Zealand’s total data traffic.

By the time wireless networks are that big, even more people will be downloading 4K movies on their gigabit fibre connections.

Other highlights from the survey:

  • In 2016 the number of fibre connections increased to 223,000, which is 12 per cent of all broadband connections.
Statistics New Zealand - fibre connections June 2012 - 2016.
  • Almost half of all broadband internet connections had no data cap. The popularity of unlimited plans continues to rise as a rapid pace. This underlines the thirst for more and more data.
Broadband internet connections by data cap – data from Statistics NZ.

Broadband internet connections by data cap – data from Statistics NZ. 

  • There was a five per cent drop in the number of internet connections. Statistics NZ says: “This is thought to relate to customers accessing the internet through mobile phones and having the option to tether other devices to their phone, and the potential for reaching saturation of the household broadband market in New Zealand”.