Coronavirus has people making more phone calls and sending fewer emails

AT&T released a report that shows how customers have changed their habits.
Coronavirus has changed the way Americans use the mobile network.
Coronavirus has changed the way Americans use the mobile network. [ Scott Eells/Bloomberg ]
Published March 31, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has radically altered the way customers use the mobile network, according to a report released by AT&T on Tuesday. A shift to working at home has driven the changes, along with students taking classes online. Stuck inside, people are also using the network for entertainment more than before the crisis

Some of the changes the company reported, compared to three weeks ago:

Voice calls: up 33 percent

Instant messaging: up 63 percent

Text messaging: up 41 percent

Emailing: down 18 percent

Web browsing: down 5 percent

Video: up 4 percent.

Not surprisingly, the use of conferencing tools are at an all-time high, thanks to so many people working from home:

Global audio-conferencing solutions: up 200 percent

Audio, web and video conferencing tools: up 400 percent

Large-scale webcast events: 200 percent

“Many companies are now more reliant than ever on virtual townhalls and events to communicate what’s taking place during this pandemic,” the AT&T report concluded. “And schools are using them to create virtual classrooms to educate their students.”

Some other interesting facts from the report:

Video accounted for over half of all mobile traffic.

Business, home broadband and wireless usage was up 24 percent on Monday compared to the same day in February.

Home voice calling minutes were up 45 percent and wifi calling minutes were up 97 percent compared to an average Monday.

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