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Research: 36% of WFH Brits switching to mobile data

February 15, 2021

By Colin Mann

Research from UK multiplay telco O2, conducted online with YouGov, found that people are relying on their mobile data more than ever to stay online during the day, with over a third (36 per cent) of Britons regularly switching to mobile data to stay online. Sixty-one per cent of Brits also agree that being able to connect to mobile data has made the experience of working from home better. Young people aged 18 to 34 (61 per cent) and those with children in the household (65 per cent) in particular are using mobile data to stay connected.

Since the start of the third national lockdown, Brits have once again been forced to both work and home-school under one roof, leading to nearly half (47 per cent) of Brits experiencing increased stress as a result of connectivity issues in their homes since January 2021. Over a quarter (28 per cent) have also considered switching to mobile data for that all important business call.

‘Zoom fatigue’ is causing a resurgence of voice calling as people revert to the familiarity of the phone call. Over a quarter of Brits (28 per cent) and over a third (36 per cent) of 18 to 24 year olds are switching to their mobile phones for an old fashioned voice call. O2 data from January 2021 showed that on the day that the third national lockdown was announced, there was a significant increase in voice phone call traffic. People are also spending longer catching up on the phone during lockdown, with voice call duration increasing by an average of 30 seconds.

Young people who are working from home are relying on mobile data for daily entertainment during their downtime, with 45 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds saying they are more likely to use their mobile data for browsing social media.  Users are also increasingly relying on data to enjoy streaming services, which have been an entertainment lifeline in lockdown. Over 44 per cent of all O2’s data traffic went to streaming services such as Disney+ in January 2021.

As working from home becomes the norm, connectivity is an increasingly important factor when moving homes. The majority of Brits (67 per cent) who are working from home and have been using mobile data agreed that access to it will be an important factor when choosing where to live.

This is especially important for young people, with 76 per cent of 18 to 34-year olds agreeing that access to mobile data will be important to them when choosing where to live in the future.

“Covid-19 has demonstrated that reliable mobile connectivity is essential, helping families across the UK home-school their children, stay connected to loved ones, and keep businesses across the nation up and running,” notes Emma Evans, Head of Network Experience at O2.

“It’s because of this that O2 is committed to its role in rebuilding Britain, and why we are investing more in our network in 2021 than ever before.”

“We are pleased that the use of mobile data is able to support families and households to get through this difficult, unprecedented time when connectivity is crucial for daily life.”



Categories: Articles, Broadband, Consumer Behaviour, Mobile, Research, Telco

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