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Sure bet: Mobile traffic drops during Melbourne Cup

For 10 minutes yesterday, 24 horses made Australians put their phones away.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor on

When the horses entered the starting gate yesterday, mobile connections fell off a cliff.

Traffic on Telstra's network dropped across a trifecta of mediums: voice calls, SMS, and email traffic were down by a third, data usage dropped by 18 percent, and 20 percent decrease in traffic to YouTube.

Telstra SMS traffic for November 6 2012

"We saw significant decreases in all forms of traffic over our networks as soon as 3 p.m. came," said Mike Wright, Telstra's executive director of networks and access technology.

"It seems that almost as soon as Green Moon past the post and correct weight was called, people started either gloating or commiserating with their friends, and then gradually returning to work as normal. This was most stark with SMS traffic dropping by approximately a third at 3:06 as the race was being run, then surging by about 75 percent above the daily average at 3:10 when the race finished."

Telstra voice traffic for November 6 2012

The largest traffic drops occurred in Western Australia, which had 42 percent less calls, followed by the Northern Territory with 37 percent decrease, and South Australia had a drop of 34 percent.

Telstra email traffic for November 6 2012

More charts are available on Telstra's Flickr account.

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