Verizon says that call and SMS traffic has seen a “significant decline from peak pandemic volumes”
As stay-at-home orders loosen around the country, mobility is up on Verizon’s network, while call and texting volumes look much more like normal spring levels.
In its most recent network traffic update, Verizon said that while virtual private network use, gaming and the use of collaboration applications are still significantly elevated, data session handovers indicating that users are moving from one cell site to another have “increased significantly over the past few weeks.”
On Monday of last week, 5.87 billion texts were sent and more than 776 million calls were made, which the network operator noted was “a significant decline from peak pandemic volumes.” In late March, by comparison, Verizon was seeing an average of nine billion texts sent per day, and an average of 800 million wireless calls on the weekdays, with call durations up 33% compared to a typical, pre-pandemic day. Voice traffic surged by around 25% in the early days of state shutdown orders.
Verizon said that VPN connections are still up 72% compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, gaming is up 82% and collaboration tool usage is 10 times its pre-pandemic volume.
Mobile device users are also out and about more. Verizon reported that according to its handoff metrics, “44 states have had increases in mobility over the last two weeks and 36% of states have surpassed their pre-COVID mobility levels.”
“In the spring, we often see an increase in handoffs as people move around more and volume on our networks increases over what we see in the winter,” said Verizon CTO Kyle Malady. “So while these numbers are higher than our typical winter pre-COVID numbers, they are very much in line with what we would expect to see this time of year.”
Malady went on to say that “Though the nation will be managing the impact of COVID-19 far into the future, we feel as if the biggest changes in how, when and where people use the networks are behind us. We will continue to be vigilant in monitoring the networks 24×7 for changes to continue to provide a great customer experience.”