The COVID-19 pandemic, along with its associated medical, social and economic disruptions, is also causing changes in the mobile experience. Opensignal, the global standard for measuring mobile user experience in the wireless industry, have released two new reports analysing the mobile experience during the pandemic, covering time spent on Wifi and 4G Download Speeds, respectively. Their aim in sharing these insights is to help mobile operators, telecom regulators and governments to prepare for, and respond to, the challenges the virus presents in these exceptional times.
The first report, Analyzing Mobile Experience during the coronavirus pandemic: Time on Wifi, shows that the amount of time that smartphone users spend on Wifi connections has increased in many countries as citizens are spending more time at home. As Opensignal outline, “normally, people spend more of their time connected to Wifi on weekends and during public holidays — demonstrating that it is a good indicator of increased time spent at home. In some countries, the percentage of time people spend connected to Wifi can rise even before governments imposed official quarantine measures, as we saw in many Italian northern provinces during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak. But now, restrictions are being implemented by more and more countries and we are observing Time on Wifi rise.”
In terms of mobile data, Opensignal’s report, Mobile Experience during the COVID-19 pandemic: 4G Download Speed, looks at Download Speeds across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South and Central America, and North America on a weekly basis between 27th January and 29th March 2020. Operators around the world are reporting dramatic increases in mobile data use, but Opensignal’s analytics show that some countries have seen some small changes in users’ 4G Download Speeds. The precise mix of causes for changes in 4G Download Speeds varies by country, but Opensignal describe drivers as including:
- Increased mobile data consumption;
- Operators relaxing data limits on their customers’ mobile packages;
- Change in the location of mobile usage;
- Mobile use is happening at different hours of the day; and
- Operators taking pre-emptive measures to reduce risk of outages.
You can read these two reports, plus more insights and analytics by country or region, on Opensignal’s website here.