Over 15 million international calls are expected to be made from the UK over the course of Eid, the Islamic celebration marking the conclusion of Ramadan.
Figures released by pay-as-you-go mobile MVNO Now, which specialises in international calling, show that international call volumes typically increase by 34% during Eid, with callers predicted to rack up more than 50 million minutes during the festival on Thursday (8 August).
Andrew Davies, Now’s CFO, said: ‘Calls placed to destinations abroad, such as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, drastically increase during Eid – more so than at any other time of year. This demonstrates that, despite the internet offering the global community greater connectivity than ever before, mobile phones remain as popular as ever when contacting loved ones at times of celebration.’
The surge in calls anticipated over Eid follows on from a steady fall in the number of calls made over Ramadan, which this year are down by more than half a million - a 4% decrease compared to a normal period. Last year calls during Ramadan, which is seen as a period of introspection and fasting, fell by 15%.
Davies added: ‘At Now we will be working hard to ensure that all calls are routed on the best network route available in order to provide excellent voice quality - regardless of the extra traffic that is expected. Retailers should also be prepared for an increase in demand for international calling cards and top-ups as Eid fast approaches to maximise customer satisfaction.’