Czech data consumption skyrockets – and may climb further

Photo: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay / CC0

Mobile network operators in the Czech Republic report a rise of between 66 and 71 percent in their customers’ data consumption in 2020 compared to the previous year.

For their part, fixed-line operators said they were up by between one-third and one-half in terms of volume, the Czech News Agency reported.

The reason for this dramatic rise is not just the coronavirus crisis, which led to children remote learning and adults working from home, but also increasing use of smart phones and a fall in data tariffs, according to information supplied by operators.

O2 said increased teleworking and the launch of online lessons for schoolchildren forced to stay home had seen it provide 54 percent more fixed data and a full 70 percent more mobile data.

A spokesperson for O2, Kateřina Mikšovská, said these rises had been driven by streaming services, including Netflix, YouTube and its own O2 TV.

Meanwhile the firm saw record figures when it came to communication platforms such as MS Teams, Skype, Zoom and Google Meet.

Photo: The Open University,  Flickr,  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Rival Vodafone said that last year it had seen a 71-percent jump in the volume of mobile data it supplied. Its cable network, which it acquired from UPC, saw an increase of 30 percent in terms of data.

Company spokesman Ondřej Luštinec said that the coronavirus situation had indeed made its mark, with many only able to hold meetings remotely, instead of meeting in person as they might have done previously.

However, said Mr. Luštinec, data volumes are growing steadily in any case, Covid or no Covid.

One reason for this is that smartphones have become increasingly prevalent over the years, while their performance is reaching ever new heights – resulting in the need for more data.

What’s more, the number of mobile apps available constantly grows, leading to yet more demand for data, the Vodafone representative said.

Operators expect even sharper growth in data consumption in 2021, the Czech News Agency reported.

This will be influenced not only by the development of the coronavirus pandemic but also by customers’ data consumption habits, new services that will reach the market and industry innovations.

O2’s Kateřina Mikšovská said the firm was investing in technological innovations, such as a 5G network.

She said that further investment in optical connections, both in new developments and in older estates of apartment blocks, would also lead to accelerated data consumption.