Sunday night streaming drives UK data surge | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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In the past six months, streaming video on Sundays was responsible for two of the largest monthly network spikes as well as almost a quarter of 2021’s weekly peaks, while over four-fifths of monthly data peaks were linked to football revealed the Mobile Britain 2022 report from Three UK.
THREE 5G 22Dec2020
The operator’s study showed how the nation is making the best of connectivity and in addition to the surge in streaming it found data consumption on its 5G network increased by 385% since 2020 and handset usage quadrupled in 2021.

Looking at the growth of networks Three UK said that if the last two years have shown anything it was that good connectivity was essential for the big and the small moments. It said fundamentally that 5G was the future of connectivity, saving p 23 hours of download time every month.

Looking at streaming, the survey found that so far in 2022, Sundays have been the days with the highest peak usage for four of eight weeks. Over the past five years, Sunday evening streaming has been steadily increasing year on year. A third of people (30%) now say they are more like to watch a TV or film on a Sunday than they were 5 years ago, with half (50%) of Brits saying they are streaming their boxset or film of choice rather than watching live or on DVD.

In the past six months, Sunday streaming was responsible for two of the largest monthly peaks as well as almost a quarter of last year’s weekly peaks. This pattern is set to continue; so far in 2022, Sundays have been the days with the highest peak usage for 4 of 8 weeks.

Despite the UK having an appetite for a wide variety of sports, 81% of monthly data peaks were linked to football matches in the last two years. December 2021’s Manchester United versus Arsenal Premier League match generated the highest monthly data peak of all in 2021.

In addition, Three UK customers were said to be embracing 5G “wholeheartedly” with 5G usage now exceeding 3G. Indeed, 5G data carried on Three’s network was found to be now more than double that of 3G – overtaking it for the first time ever. The operator expects 5G to reach up to 35% of data usage by the end of 2022. The study added that the desire for faster connectivity has been driven by more widely available 5G devices with the number of 5G devices connecting to Three’s network also increasing by four times by the end of 2021 compared with the same time a year ago. This 299% growth from December 2020 to Dec 2021 meant that 2.2 million 5G devices were connecting to the network.

Assessing the trends revealed in the report, in particular the surge of 5G, Three said it was a case of out with the old, in with the new for mobile users in the UK. “5G has taken off like never before and it’s telling that it has now surpassed 3G data usage on our network. Superfast connectivity is the future for our customers – with sport and entertainment streaming two of the key drivers of data surges in the last year,” said UK chief network officer Carlo Melis commenting on the Mobile Britain 2022 report. “To keep up with the demand for data, we are investing more than £2bn in transforming our network and IT infrastructure, with 5G now live in over 370 locations covering more than one third of the UK population.”