Internet usage: data consumption increased significantly on New Year’s Eve
Whether it’s a champagne glass photo or a “Happy New Year” video: Germany’s Internet users used significantly more data at the turn of the year than at the beginning of previous years. The telecommunications provider Telefónica with its brand o2 had a cellular volume of 382,000 gigabytes between midnight and one o’clock in the morning on January 1st, 35 percent more than in the same period of the previous year, as the company announced on Tuesday in Munich. There had also been strong growth in previous years.
One reason is that o2’s cellular network is better than it used to be and that data can therefore be transferred quickly and easily in many places. In addition, more data-intensive applications play a role.
Competitor Vodafone also recorded a higher data volume, in the period from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. it was an increase of eight percent in mobile communications and ten percent in the fixed network compared to the same period in the previous year. In the first hour of the year, the plus in mobile communications was only one percent (to around 200,000 gigabytes). The fixed network development is remarkable: Compared to New Year’s Eve 2019/20 – i.e. before the pandemic – data usage in the domestic fixed network is now 60 percent stronger. The reason for this: Instead of going to New Year’s Eve parties, people stayed at home or visited friends and family – and connected via WiFi.
However, it is not entirely clear why the mobile data volume at Telefónica increased so much more strongly in the first hour of the new year than at its competitor Vodafone. One reason could be that o2 has caught up significantly in terms of mobile network coverage – Telefónica customers in many places had better networks than before and were therefore able to quickly download large amounts of data or stream it smoothly.
Vodafone has also improved its cell phone network, but the coverage advantage over CO2 with the 4G radio standard has become smaller than it used to be. One of Vodafone’s strengths is the fixed network, where Vodafone offers its own lines with gigabit speed. For Telefónica, on the other hand, the fixed network is of no central importance – the people of Munich do not have their own lines, they only rent them.
Deutsche Telekom announced that the data volume used in its cell phone network was around a third higher on December 31, 2021 and January 1, 2022 compared to the same days in 2020/21. The growth of the competitors Vodafone and Telefónica was similarly high during this period (Vodafone 30 percent; Telefónica 35 percent). Telekom did not make any comparable information about the first hour of the new year.
Looking back on New Year’s Eve, Vodafone Germany boss Hannes Ametsreiter says: “We sent our good New Year’s wishes to our friends, relatives and colleagues more often than ever before with video calls, photos and voice notes.” Because people have mostly logged into their home WLAN with smartphones, tablets and notebooks, the data growth in the fixed network has been many times greater than in the mobile network, says Ametsreiter.
Telefónica Germany boss Markus Haas expects the hunger for data to continue to grow. This will also be able to be satisfied in the future by offering tariffs with large data packets and continuing to invest in the mobile network. Vodafone and the third German mobile network operator, Deutsche Telekom, also want to spend a lot of money on their networks. (dpa / rs)