Verizon may be getting a sense of what the new normal is. In its latest update to internet and mobile traffic patterns, the carrier found that calls and texting have declined from peak pandemic levels and returned to the normal range. The carrier also noted, though, that other heightened uses of the network show no signs of fading. And, to top it all off, people increasingly are on the move again.
The carrier used Monday, May 18 as the yardstick. On that day, more than 776 million calls were made and 5.87 billion texts sent. That was in line with pre-pandemic levels and was a significant decline from peak usage during the emergency.
Some network uses have remained at elevated levels, however. The company says that compared to pre-pandemic levels, gaming was up 82%, VPN connections were up 72% and use of collaborative tools was up by a factor of ten. This seems to be good indications of the work from home trend still being in full swing.
Verizon Mobile Traffic Patterns
A particularly interesting bit of news is that people seem to be emerging from their homes more consistently, impacting Verizon mobile traffic patterns. Movement between cell site – indicating people walking or driving – has increased significantly. The report says that 44 states have had increases during the past two weeks and 36% of states have surpassed their pre-COVID mobility levels.
In this case, the new normal is the old normal. ““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,” Verizon Chief Technology Officer Kyle Malady said in a press release. “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.”
In mid-April, Verizon reported that its traffic volume had increased 19% compared to typical pre-pandemic data, but said that usage had normalized over the weeks since the crisis began.