Over the course of a month, Telefónica's fixed data traffic growth surpassed the company's yearly cumulative traffic growth due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Telefónica's fixed data traffic increased by 35% over a month compared to cumulative traffic growth of 30% over the past 12 months. Online education by students and millions of remote office workers accounted for most of the spike in data traffic, according to Telefónica.
Normally, Telefónica' said it sees network traffic start to pick up in September after its customers return from their summer holidays. Over the next four months, traffic increases by 25% as subscribers stay home during the winter months and new video content is released online. After the holidays, Spain-based Telefónica' said traffic increased by 5% until July.
The increase in fixed data network traffic, as well as mobile increases, was helped by the Easter holiday, which included more usage of services such as online gaming, voice, mobile and fixed data services
The use of video conferencing tools decreased during the Easter holiday, but recovered later in the week. With employees taking Easter off, Telefónica' also saw a drop in internet traffic by companies.
According to a New York Times story, Telefónica' noted there is one time during the day when traffic drops off dramatically, which is at 8 p.m. when Spain's citizens "go to their windows to cheer health workers and others who are helping to manage the crisis."
Similar to other service providers during the coronavirus pandemic, Telefónica said it was able to handle the increased data traffic due to the redundant design of its networks, which includes multiple paths that can be utilized if a bandwidth bottleneck starts to develop.
Along with Italy, Spain has been one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. As of Thursday, Spain has recorded 182,816 cases of coronavirus and 19,031 deaths.
Telia Carrier sees overall traffic volume increase
In addition to Telefónica's network increase, Telia Carrier said overall traffic volumes have increased by more than 50% during the COVID-19 crisis. As one of the world's largest internet backbones, Telia Carrier has deep insight into network traffic patterns.
As of March 29, peak traffic levels were up 35% depending on the continent. On average, points-of-presence (POPs) have grown by 20.5%, with highest increase coming in at 208% while the lowest was 56%, which Telia Carrier highlighted the different usage patterns across regions.
The increases in network traffic have mirrored the places where the coronavirus pandemic has been more widespread as cities, states and countries implement stay at home orders or complete quarantines.
Telia Carrier said video conferencing was up 400% in total volume. It also said that while lockdown measures werenstarting to stabilize Europe, network traffic was continuing to grow, but at a lower rate.