Large numbers of holidaymakers put the Central Otago
cellphone system under pressure yesterday, shortly after New
Zealanders had sent millions of phone text messages on New
Delays were experienced in making cellphone calls between
Dunedin and Wanaka early yesterday afternoon.
Telecom spokeswoman Sarah Newcombe said ''intermittent
connection issues'' had resulted from overloading and
''exceptionally high volumes of traffic'' rather than a
There had been particularly high volumes of cellphone traffic
in several key Central Otago holiday areas, such as Wanaka,
Queenstown and Alexandra.
Problems had been intermittent and had apparently not
affected large numbers of customers, but she apologised for
any disruption to service.
Telecom had increased cellphone capacity in holiday areas,
and was monitoring the situation, she said.
Vodafone officials said its customers had experienced only
''minor congestion'' in Wanaka, and there had been no
complaints involving other parts of Central Otago.
Vodafone officials said that on New Year's Day, between
midnight and 1am, customers sent 3.7 million text messages-
more than twice as many as in a normal hour, and up on the
3.1 million sent in the corresponding period the previous
On New Year's Eve, Telecom customers sent 7.8 million texts
between 6pm and midnight, compared with 8.8 million for the
corresponding period in 2011.