The latest Verizon Network Report shows American slowly falling back into old habits. On Wednesday, slightly over 760 million calls were made, falling well below the peak daily call volume during the COVID pandemic at over 860 million calls. Text messaging continues its week over week decline falling another 5% to just under 6 billion texts sent on Wednesday.
That is compared to over 9 billion texts sent at the peak of the COVID pandemic.
As call and text volumes fall back towards pre-COVID levels, working and schooling from home continues. VPN usage increased 3% week over week and hit a new peak at 81% higher than a typical pre-COVID day. Use of collaboration tools fell 6% week over week, although still shows an increase of approximately 1200% over a typical pre-COVID day.
Today’s report also shows a week over week increase in gaming of 23%, reversing the decline reported last week, and web browsing increased 11% week over week. Meanwhile video streaming remains flat at 36% above a typical pre-COVID day.
These usage changes are happening concurrently with people starting to become more mobile. Handoffs (the times when a data session moves from one cell site to another as users walk or drive around) are steadily increasing from the peak of stay-at-home orders (-35% vs. a typical day to -19% vs. a typical day). Mobile handoffs in some areas of the country (Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kansas and Missouri) are surging higher than a typical pre-COVID day.
Although still well below pre-COVID levels, New York Metro mobile handoffs increased 16%, Upstate New York increased 1% and New England increased over 5% week over week.