Mobile operator O2 has revealed a list of the most data-hungry UK cities in September, with some showing an increase in data consumption of 50% year-on-year.
The increased demand for data in some areas coincided with tighter lockdown rules, as people rely increasingly on technology to work, educate and enjoy entertainment – such as online video - at home. O2 found that data traffic spikes since lockdown have coincided with key moments for the country, including the end of the Premier League season, the Champions League final and the government’s lockdown announcement at the end of April.
Data consumption was up by 50% in Bradford, which topped the list as it enters its third month of local restrictions. Other cities with significant rises include Coventry (47%), Hull, Norwich and Nottingham (all 42%).
In June 2020, O2 broadened the reach of its growing 5G network to 60 towns and cities across the UK, adding the likes of Aberdeen, Brighton and Oxford to the locations covered since the network first came on stream in October 2019. The operator sees its next generation 5G network as crucial in developing the national digital infrastructure, helping customers and businesses to support the economy as the UK emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Assesssing the results of the survey O2 chief technology officer Brendan O’Reilly said: “Mobile connectivity has become a true lifeline for many and will continue to play a vital role in keeping Britain connected. We remain committed to doing everything we can to help our customers stay in contact with their colleagues, friends and loved ones during this challenging period.”