As Kiwis continue to rely on essential telecommunications services during the nationwide level 4 lockdown, Vodafone has reported an incredibly busy weekend of phone and video calls.

The weekend showed screentime and phone calls were up around the country, with the Vodafone network showing:
• 75% increase in 4G Calling (VoLTE usage) at the peak time of 10-11am compared to normal Sunday.
• 60% increase in daily data volume on Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) sites!
• 32% increase in Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) off-peak data on Sunday.
• 25% increase in video streaming (measured on Akamai and VodafoneTV) compared to normal Sunday traffic.
• 18% increase in fixed broadband data at the peak time of 9pm on Sunday, which was slightly lower than the 25.5% increase we saw on Wednesday, as the below graph shows.
• 11% increase in mobile data at 9pm peak on Sunday compared to normal Sunday.

“To help customers in rural areas stay connected without worrying about data caps, on Saturday we began offering free off-peak data (12am to 5pm) for RBI households with Vodafone and Farmside,” Vodafone NZ Wholesale & Infrastructure Director Tony Baird said. “This proved very popular, with data use up 32% compared to last Sunday.”

“Pleasingly telco engineers are classed as essential workers, meaning we continue to maintain operations during the pandemic, but we are deferring any non-essential upgrades during level 4.”