UK carrier EE reveals 45% increase in communication apps usage, doubling of voice calls since lockdown began

Ee Hero
Ee Hero (Image credit: EE)

What you need to know

  • EE has revealed how lockdown has changed UK mobile data usage.
  • It says it has seen a 45% increase in traffic for apps like WhatsApp, Houseparty, and Skype.
  • Voice calling has also doubled, and there's been a big increase in exercise data from apps like Strava.

UK Carrier EE has revealed how lockdown is changing UK mobile data usage throughout the country.

The new report, published earlier this week highlights several big shifts in communication and how people are choosing to use their data. From the report:

With people unable to visit friends and family, as well as many people working from home, communication traffic on EE's mobile network has seen a huge increase. Zoom users on EE's network increased five times during lockdown compared to earlier this year, and total data use on the platform has more than doubled. Social evening activities with friends and family have seen the daily peak usage shift from during the workday to 8pm. This increase, along with the use of other communication apps such as Houseparty, WhatsApp, Skype and Teams has resulted in a 45% increase in traffic for communication apps across the EE Network.

EE also notes that voice calls have "surged in popularity", with calls lasting more than 5 minutes increasing by 45%.

Fitness is also driving data usage, and Strava's user count and data usage have more than tripled compared to pre-lockdown figures. MayMyRun data has also doubled. Fitbit, interestingly enough, has "fallen sharply" as overall movement and commuting has decreased in the country.

A big spike in food and online shopping deliveries was seen in March as stockpiling took hold of much of the country. These have now relaxed to normal levels as panic buying seems to have come to an end.

Naturally, takeaway services like Deliveroo spiked to an all-time high in April. Conversely, travel and transport app usage have seen a very big decline, as have ride-hailing apps like Uber.

CEO of BT's Consumer Division Marc Allera noted:

What's clear is that the role of a highly reliable high-speed mobile network has never been more important to our customers, and I'm pleased that the EE network continues to deliver great performance even in these tough times."

You can read the full report here.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9