VMO2 mobile traffic was up 36% in 2022

mobile phone

Telco group VMO2 had its biggest year for data use on both its broadband and mobile networks, and has served up a bunch of stats on consumer habits for the year.

VMO2 clocked 9% more broadband data downloaded per day compared to 2021, while mobile traffic was up 36%. Using anonymised and aggregated data from between 1st January – 19th December the firm has skimmed that pool of data and thrown out some stats on what it was people were doing with it all over the year.

Football caused the biggest O2 mobile data traffic spikes this year, with the England v Iran game on November 21st driving ‘record spikes’ in mobile data traffic. Compared to England’s opening game against Tunisia in the 2018 tournament, mobile data traffic was up 361%. Meanwhile the Lionesses lifting the Euros trophy saw a 49% increase in ‘household reach’ on July 31st – it’s less clear what that one means to be honest but it sounds like an increase in something or other.

There was a traffic uptick during the train strikes on June 21st, 23rd and 25th, during which O2 Motion data clocked a 72% reduction in City of London crowd volumes compared to the week prior. Broadband upload traffic jumped 5% week on week due to an increase of video, and download traffic levels were also up 10%. Quite possibly a lot of that was exasperated travellers downloading Uber.

O2 Motion data also indicated that European travel from the UK reached almost pre-pandemic volumes over the summer of this year, with average weekly roaming volumes up 226% compared with 2021 – which makes sense since you basically couldn’t do it last year. Spain tops the list of most popular European destinations, we’re told.

TikTok apparently accounted for nearly 10% of all mobile app usage the firm clocked in November, while Snapchat and Instagram were responsible for 2.5% and 1% respectively. Facebook, while it’s seen as less voguish these days, remains the most popular mobile app, making up 22% of O2 customer app usage in November.

“Looking back on 2022, it’s clear that reliance on broadband and mobile connectivity is seeing traffic and data use grow more and more,” said Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer, VMO2. “This year, a number of major events that gripped the nation alongside huge gaming launches and the continuation of hybrid working, have all contributed to a record-breaking surge in customer traffic on our network and we see no sign of this changing. With 2023 on the horizon, whatever it brings, we’ll continue to invest heavily to keep the country connected, keep pace with demand and ensure we’re focused on customer experience and reliability.”

Of course it’s a limited snapshot and a light-hearted end of year release – but the question of how operators actually go about making more money out of ever increasing usage of their networks will remain a live one for 2023.


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