We’ve collected some data from our customers and partners, which provide insights from mobile networks into user behaviour. What are the key lessons?
Mobile data per user has grown by 45% on a daily basis, with individual users consuming around 400Mb, on average.
70% more time has been spent online – showing that users are on their devices, switching between streaming or communications sessions. Of course, that includes time spent catching up on the news and exploring platforms that were already popular, such as Facebook (with average user data of 83MB, users are certainly making the most of social interaction!).
But, newer platforms, such as TikTok have also soared in popularity. TikTok users consume 40MB on average, with the application entering the ‘top-10’ most popular services for the first time – reflecting the growing trend of distributing short-form video content.
The net impact is significant. At some points during the day our partners report, such traffic has reached 52% of total network bandwidth consumption. In general, streaming has been responsible, as such services have taken the #1 position in the category of most used applications.
So, mobile data has grown. But, what’s interesting is a shift in demand that has also been reported. Video collaboration has surged, disproportionately to other traffic classes. There are now 5x more users on applications such as Zoom and Team, reflecting adoption of work tools in remote environments – and the embrace of new platforms for distributed users.
Video is up 25% but it’s not just video in general that has mushroomed, the number of platforms actively used also surged. Take Google Classroom, for example – that’s up by 9x, clearly matching the need to deliver home schooling during the lockdowns.
All of this means that operators must adapt and ensure there is sufficient capacity, at the right time, but they need insights to track what’s needed and when, so they can predict when surges occur. Demands from remote users must also be balanced against demands for consumer services – with on-demand entertainment suddenly becoming the only game in town.
Finally, there’s been a 5% increase in new data subscribers. Users that have never embraced data are getting online, although the majority of the data increase has come from existing users just doing more.