New records in mobile communications:O2 network cracks 2 billion mark in data usage and telephony

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The O2 network breaks new records for telephony and data usage.
Driven by the 5G network rollout and Corona-related contact restrictions, German mobile communications is producing new records in telephony and data usage: the O2 network breaks the 2 billion gigabyte barrier in data consumption per year for the first time. O2 customers sent more mobile data through the network than ever before in the last eleven months from January to early December 2021. At the same time, the O2 network also broke through the 2 billion threshold with view to telephony hours, as a large number of calls were made to each other in recent months, particularly due to the Corona developments.

Markus Haas
"Consumers' hunger for data continues to be unlimited. Our around 45 million customers are using more mobile data on the move than ever before, for example for music and video streaming," says Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland / O2. "We provide them with tariffs with large data packages for this purpose, as well as an increasingly powerful mobile network, in which we are investing around EUR 1.3 billion this year alone for further expansion. Over 99 percent of the population already benefits from our 4G network. Our rapidly growing 5G network will further push data growth in the coming years." This year, Telefónica / O2 started the 5G expansion turbo: Around 3,900 5G antennas are now already live at the 3.6 GHz frequency, which is particularly well suited for high-performance 5G. O2 customers in cities such as Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Cologne, Stuttgart, Mainz, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Hanover, Leipzig and many more benefit from the fast 5G network.

O2 starts 5G rollout in more regions

Credits: Henning Koepke / Telefónica Deutschland
Around 3,900 5G antennas already transmitting at 3.6 GHz in the O2 network.
Now O2 is taking a further step and provides even more cities and rural regions with the fast mobile communications standard: the provider has already gone live with the first around 2,000 5G antennas, which transmit at the long-range frequencies 700 MHz and 1800 MHz. At 1800 MHz, O2 is relying on dynamic spectrum sharing technology, which is predominant for 5G in Germany and flexibly combines 4G and 5G. The company is thus fully on track to provide around 30 percent of the German population with 5G by the end of 2021 and half of the population by the end of 2022. This expansion is having an impact: Just recently, the trade magazine connect rated the O2 network "very good" for the second time in a row in its major independent network test.1) According to OpenSignal, it is also the 5G network with the fastest average download speed.2)

Data usage in mobile communications is increasing exponentially

Credits: Telefónica Deutschland
As a result, O2 offers more network for customers' increasing hunger for data. Mobile data usage on the O2 network is growing by around 50 percent per year. While the network broke the exabyte barrier in German mobile communications for the first time in the full year 2019 with one billion gigabytes, this threshold was reached after just six months in 2021. By the end of 2021, well over 2 billion gigabytes will have flowed through the O2 mobile network. Soccer matches in particular stand out as drivers of data usage in 2021: During the Champions League matches FC Bayern Munich vs. FC Barcelona on December 8 and Borussia Dortmund vs. Besiktas Istanbul on December 7 alone, almost half a million gigabytes flowed through the O2 network within an hour each - record figures for 2021 so far!

More mobile telephony due to Corona developments

O2 has also broken through the 2 billion barrier in mobile telephony: Customers have made calls on the O2 network for over two billion hours to date.
O2 has also broken through the 2 billion barrier in mobile telephony: Customers have made calls on the O2 network for over two billion hours to date. By way of comparison: If strung together, this figure would result in a telephone call lasting almost 230,000 years - from the beginning of the last ice age on earth to the present day. Mobile telephony has only been operating on this scale since 2020. Customers made the most calls on March 23 (around 8 million hours), when there was discussion in Germany about a possible Corona-related Easter lockdown. Close behind was October 4 (7.8 million hours), when the important messaging services Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were down worldwide for several hours and customers increasingly switched to other channels such as mobile telephony and text messaging at short notice. In the period from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. alone, customers on the O2 network made calls lasting almost 700,000 hours on that day - instead of the 500,000 hours usually recorded at the comparable time. On average, customers are also making longer calls to each other in 2021: while an average call lasted around 2:30 minutes in 2019, it will be around 3 minutes this year, especially during the Corona-dominated times. Many phone calls can also be expected again on the upcoming Christmas days - and the O2 network ensures reliable connectivity.
1)connect mobile network test, issue 1/2022: „very good“ (874 points); in total awarded: three times „very good“ (944, 913 and 874 points)
2)Opensignal Awards – Germany: 5G Experience Report August 2021