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Vodafone network report: Voice calls and internet data spikes during level 4 lockdown weekend, with unlimited off-peak rural data proving popular

By Tony Baird, Wholesale & Infrastructure Director, Vodafone NZ

Staying connected remotely is again the name of the game, as Kiwis continue to rely on essential telecommunications services during the nationwide level 4 lockdown.

The weekend showed screentime and phone calls were up around the country, with the Vodafone network showing:

  • 75% increase in 4G Calling (VoLTE usage) at the peak time of 10-11am compared to normal Sunday.
  • 18% increase in fixed broadband data at the peak time of 9pm on Sunday, which was slightly lower than the 25.5% increase we saw on Wednesday, as the below graph shows.
  • 25% increase in video streaming (measured on Akamai and VodafoneTV) compared to normal Sunday traffic
  • 11% increase in mobile data at 9pm peak on Sunday compared to normal Sunday.
  • 32% increase in Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) off-peak data on Sunday
  • 60% increase in daily data volume on RCG sites!

While a lot of urban internet users have always-on unlimited data, due to capacity constraints with New Zealand’s rural digital infrastructure, this isn’t possible in some rural and country areas. So to help those customers stay connected without worrying about data caps, on Saturday we began offering free off-peak data (12am to 5pm) for RBI households with Vodafone and Farmside. This proved very popular, with data use up 32% compared to last Sunday!!

While our internet highways are busy, we’re managing capacity to keep Vodafone customers connected. Pleasingly telco engineers are classed as essential workers, meaning we continue to maintain operations during the pandemic, but we are deferring any non-essential upgrades during level 4.

We’ll continue to keep Aotearoa New Zealand connected via remarkable technology.

Fixed Data Throughput (GBps):

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