Verizon says call and texting volume are returning to normal spring levels. The new numbers tell the carrier that people are starting to move around more.
Using last Monday as a measuring point, more than 776 million calls were made and 5.87 billion texts sent that day, showing a significant decline from peak pandemic volumes, according to the carrier’s latest network report.
“As we see the shifts in network volume and usage, our engineers continue to make real-time adjustments to ensure our network is ready when and where people need it,” said Verizon CTO Kyle Malady. “Though the nation will be managing the impact of COVID-19 far into the future, we feel as if the biggest changes in how, when and where people use the networks are behind us.” The company will continue to monitor networks 24×7 for changes, he added.
Not everything is returning to pre-COVID-19 levels. Gaming remains up 82 percent and VPN connections are up 72 percent. The use of collaboration tools is still “highly elevated.” That indicates that while restrictions have been lifted to some degree in every state, working and schooling from home, as well as gaming, are still popular ways to use Verizon networks, according to the carrier.
As call and texting network volumes return to normal levels, mobility has increased “significantly” over the past few weeks. According to Verizon’s handoff metrics (the times when a data session moves from one cell site to another as users walk or drive around), 44 states have had increases in mobility over the last two weeks and 36 percent of states have surpassed their pre-COVID mobility levels.
“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,” said Malady. “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.”