With millions of Americans working from home instead of the office, telecom usage is both spiking and changing at the same time, according to Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg.
Though some like to say people don’t talk on the phone anymore, that’s certainly not the case right now. Vestberg says Verizon is seeing 800 million calls a day, which is “double the amount that we would have on Mother’s Day, the biggest calling day of the year,” he says. And customers aren’t just calling. Peak texting right now is close to eight or nine SMS messages every day which Vestberg says is typical for New Year’s Eve.
That’s the volume part. Then there’s the behavior part. Overall, peak usage on the network has flipped from the afternoon to the morning, “because so many people are doing video conferencing or e-learning from home,” Vestberg says, which seems to be done more in the a.m.
Vestberg can also see how much Americans are traveling. “Mobile handoffs, that’s when you move between one radio cell to another, has gone down with almost 30%,” he says. “That means that people are moving much less in the country right now than before.”
Verizon is the parent company of Verizon Media Group, which owns and operates Yahoo Finance.
Vestberg acknowledged that the company has been in touch with the White House with regard to the operations of the network. “I think that they are appreciative of what we are doing in Verizon because our network has actually been working well,” he said. In Europe, telecom companies have had to limit use by big customers like Netflix, Facebook, and YouTube because of concerns that increased streaming by consumers might choke the networks. There have been no indications to date that is necessary in the U.S. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr told me recently.
Andy Serwer is editor-in-chief of Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter: @serwer.
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