Remote working data traffic breaks records in early 2021




The impact of corona and the declared lockdown once again results in data records at KPN. In the first working weeks of 2021, data traffic to popular platforms such as Teams and Zoom shattered all previous ‘homeworking records’ and Tuesday, January 12 was the busiest homeworking day ever. Meanwhile, the day after Christmas, Sunday December 27, 2020, was an ‘all time high’ on KPN’s fixed network; on this day, TV was watched and streamed en masse.

Trend line ‘homeworking’ traffic to platforms like Teams and Zoom on KPN network ( Nov 29, ’20 – Jan 10, ’21)

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The second lockdown, which has closed schools, is clearly visible in the number of extra terabytes that have subsequently passed through the KPN network. This has increased sharply since mid-December, not only in terms of specific homeworking traffic but platforms such as Zoom and MS Teams continue to grow rapidly, and TV and streaming traffic is also recording new peaks because people are inside more and restaurants, shops, and gyms have been closed for an extended period. Since January 4, the Netherlands has been comprehensively working from home and data traffic to popular platforms such as MS Teams, Google Meet and Zoom is busier than ever. In the first two weeks of 2021, all homeworking data traffic records were shattered, with the Tuesday and Thursday being the busiest days; this is also the case on the digital highways. With one big difference; online traffic doesn’t cause congestion, because KPN has sufficient capacity available.

Trend line ‘streaming’ traffic on KPN network during Christmas period

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The Christmas period was a relatively quiet time on the KPN network, with hardly any homeworking traffic. This was particularly visible in the second week of the Christmas holiday. At the same time, more free time means more TV and streaming traffic. When you look specifically at the streaming traffic on KPN’s network, it is striking that it is significantly quieter on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Traffic is as busy as it always is in the evening of Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. December 27 was the busiest day ever on KPN’s network, mainly due to record TV and streaming traffic. Only on March 21, 2020 (during the first lockdown) the share of streaming traffic was slightly higher, but the total amount of data traffic was less. The Netherlands clearly felt the need to relax on the sofa with a good film or series after Christmas.

Trend line KPN ‘mobile’ data traffic during New Year

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Records were also broken during New Year; this time on the mobile network. It is striking that there was no visible decline in mobile traffic this year. In a normal year (with fireworks and without lockdown restrictions), there is a brief drop in mobile data traffic shortly before 0.00. This is likely caused by the Dutch going outside just before midnight to prepare fireworks and then to wish each other a Happy New Year. People don’t check their phone at this time, which invariably causes a brief drop in mobile data traffic. This year it was different; we had no fireworks and, as group size was limited, many more digital New Year’s greetings were sent. Partly for this reason, all mobile network records were broken during the ’20-’21 New Year. Between 22.00 and 04.00, no less than 248 terabytes of data were used, 52 terabytes more than the year before. So, we started the new year without a drop.

Trend line ‘TV’ data traffic on KPN network during New Year

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A lot of linear TV was watched on New Year’s Eve and peaks are clearly visible around the New Year’s shows of Guido Weijers (22.10) and Youp van ’t Hek. (22.30). Just before midnight, the Netherlands tunes in en masse for the countdown on TV, and then the TV is switched off and the champagne is opened.