T-Mobile reveals how lockdown is changing the way we use online connectivity

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Traffic lights as metaphor for motivation streaks
Traffic is up in some areas.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The COVID-19 pandemic is having all kinds of impact on everyday life. One of those is how we use our phones as we increasingly rely on connectivity to, well, keep us connected.

T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray recently shared some observations the newly merged carrier has made about changing cell phone habits during COVID-19.

In a video tweet Friday, Ray noted that mobile hotspot usage is up 60% as people share their smartphone data with other devices such as laptops and tablets. As people work from home or stay in touch with friends and family, use of collaboration tools is also up 87%. This includes tools like Slack and Skype.

As people try and learn new schools, or carry out e-learning, use of educational tools has more than doubled. Tools like Google Classroom and Khan Academy are up 135%. So, too, is people’s penchant for gaming, as video game traffic has increased 85%.

Finally, traffic on food delivery apps is up 23%. Unsurprisingly, at a time when trips to the stores are tougher, perhaps are (perhaps justifiably) rewarding themselves with more food deliveries.

Nokia has chimed in, too…

T-Mobile isn’t the only mobile company to release insights about how COVID-19 is affecting habits right now. Nokia has also been publishing data concerning some of the trends it has observed. These include Zoom usage surging up to 700% from February 1.

Disney+ is also representing a growing amount of internet traffic. Nokia notes that, in some European networks, Disney+ now represents about 8% of total streaming video-on-demand traffic. You can check out more of Nokia’s insights here.

To try and cope with the increased online traffic, some parts of the world such as Europe are trying to throttle bandwidth by reducing the quality of online video. Meanwhile, mobile usage is being tracked by many governments (including the U.S.) to help keep tabs on the spread of the coronavirus.

How has your own internet usage changed during COVID-19 lockdown? Which services have you been relying on more than normal? Let us know in the comments below.