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Virgin Media O2 Reveals UK Connectivity Trends for 2023

Monday, Dec 18th, 2023 (11:11 am) - Score 4,280

UK ISP and mobile operator Virgin Media and O2 (VMO2) have today published their annual round-up of customer connectivity habits for 2023, which among other things finds that broadband usage on their fixed line network increased by 13% in 2023 (up from 9% last year). Similarly, the mobile traffic and data increased by 26% in 2023 (down from 36% last year).

Demand for data is constantly rising and internet connections are forever getting faster, thus new peaks of usage are being set all the time by every mobile and broadband provider. But it’s still interesting to see details like the ones that VMO2 have put out today, even if they are quite vague.

In order to avoid this becoming too laborious, we’ve summarised and simplified VMO2’s latest shotgun blast of data points below.

VMO2’s 2023 Connectivity Trends

➤ The busiest download peak was calculated between 8-10pm on Wednesday 6 December which coincided with Prime Video screening six live Premier League matches and the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III Season One as well as the release of its latest Warzone map. Seven of the top 10 busiest days on record have occurred in 2023 and have all been influenced by gaming titles such as Call of Duty, Fortnite, Starfield and The Witcher.

➤ Working from home is a key driver for data consumption, and it’s clear that many are still opting for remote working with a 14% increase in broadband traffic between the traditional working hours of 8:00-17:00 (Mon-Fri) in 2023 compared to 2022.

➤ Facebook has come out on top of the apps, making up for one fifth of all application data consumed on O2’s mobile network and almost double that of the next most popular app, YouTube. TikTok and Netflix followed behind in the rankings.

➤ During the round of UEFA Champions League group stage fixtures on the evening of September 19th, data usage on O2’s mobile network surged, making it the busiest hour on the network throughout 2023.

➤ The North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham on January 15th drove conversation, coinciding with the busiest hour for voice calls on O2’s mobile network.

➤ Strictly Come Dancing, which has been a staple of Saturday evening entertainment for the past decade, was the most watched TV series of the year followed by I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Eurovision, Glastonbury, Happy Valley and others.

➤ The King’s Coronation, which took place on May 6th, was the most watched standalone show of the year.

➤ The Champions League Final between Manchester City and Inter Milan contributed to the largest Pay TV’ audience of the year with nearly a quarter of Virgin TV households watching the game on set-top boxes.

➤ The use of popular streaming apps such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ rose by 3% compared to last year. In total, 90% of customers engaged with and watched apps on their set top box in 2023. BBC iPlayer remains the most popular app for Virgin Media TV customers, with 72% engaging with the platform followed by Netflix (52%) and YouTube (50%).

➤ In terms of O2’s mobile network, Wednesday is the most popular day to go to the office. The next busiest day is Tuesday and, although Virgin Media O2’s broadband network showed that working from home is still popular among many workers, from autumn of this year, the majority of the public were back to four days at their place of work per week.

➤ In retail, 2023 also marked the return of high street shopping. Despite footfall dropping by 5% over the summer months, overall high street shopping has been on par with, or even surpassing, trips to shopping centres. Outside of the usual Christmas shopping period, May and September saw peak trips for people hitting the high street.

Jeanie York, CTO at VMO2, said: “In what has been another bumper year, we continue to invest and innovate to provide vital connectivity and entertainment for our customers. Seven of our top 10 record days for broadband network usage occurred in 2023, fuelled by working from home and online gaming, while our mobile data usage increased by a quarter … If history teaches us anything, it’s that 2024 is set to be another busy, connectivity-hungry year for our customers who continue to use our services more than ever.”

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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12 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Ben says:

    Surprised to see that the majority of the public are working 4+ days a week from the office. Personally I think more than 2 days per week in the office would be a hard sell, unless there were clear advantages over working from home.

    1. Avatar photo Matt says:

      the advantage is landlords want to maximize profits from office space? 🙂

      Also scores of middle management “can’t manage staff” they can’t see. Because their entire job revolves around harassing people to “do stuff” when providing no value.

      There’s a big push from the media saying WFH is bad for your posture, you won’t get promotions and have stifled career development, or other bull to change the narrative to being a negative. There’s also a huge fuss whenever someone’s been “doing multiple jobs” by working remotely. I’ve also got older family members who chastise the fact I work from home. What they probably don’t realize is I earn 3x+ their salary from “sitting on my butt at home”.

      1/28 in the office for me – They wanted to double it to 1/14 and I told them to look for a new engineer – Unsurprisingly, I do not do more than 1/28. What’s amusing is I do more in about an hour than I do in a full day in the office, w/1hr commute each way – to then sit on teams calls in an office. Absolutely pointless. Recruiters also need to stop pushing “Hybrid working” as a company that “lets you” WFH once a week/month.

      The only people who should be in workspaces, are those who are required to be there (e.g. you use a piece of equipment especially, you’re a delivery person, you work in a warehouse, etc. – something that you can’t do remotely)

      The change in commute for me is insane and makes this job unworkable. Flexibility is extremely important to peoples wellness, mental health and feeling supported by their job. It’d be interesting to see studies based on output on full time WFH, vs those returned to the office. (and how that effected staff retention), but it’s easier for the Torygraph / DM etc. to paint this negative narrative to ensure people work their fingers to the bone.

      There’s a similar negative push on the 4-day working week, especially within Local authorities etc. saying it’s “not value for money for taxpayers” – like they can’t get their head around that staff working 4 days instead of 5 doesn’t mean that everyone takes the same day off. Your headcount should be high enough to cover flex, so annual leave, sickness etc. without burning out your staff. The 4day work week has been shown to improve performance, reduce sickness and increase staff retention (so reduces training / recruitment spend). We’ve moved on technologically so much since the “Factory Act of 1833” – yet we’re still expected to work the same, and generate more and more output because this returns value to shareholders. We should be pushing for an environment where most of your time isn’t spent working, away from family and friends etc. If someone actually committed and did this – it’d be interesting to see how much production is affected (likely very little) but it would mean more staff employed, higher maintenance costs of those staff – so would affect your shareholders profits.

    2. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      @Matt re the impact on progression – in some cases that is a genuine issue. I’m on a WFH contract and if I changed roles then I’d need to sign a hybrid contract and go to the office 3 times a week. I’d likely get a minimal pay rise for a promotion, be expected to front the costs of my travel, and then consider that my travel time is now also unpaid work time.

      I’ve been to the office for 3 days since COVID hit. Once as a meeting place on the way to a conference elsewhere – car pooling. The other two times on the other side of the country following a flight paid for by the company.

      In all 3 cases I was in the office for less than 7 hours combined.

      Everything that I do can and does get done remotely. The going into the office is entirely the construct of a bunch of high-ups looking to justify expenditure on office space.

  2. Avatar photo Richard says:

    I work from home and funny need to be managed. I get on with the job and can be trusted. That’s because I have a work ethic.

  3. Avatar photo Richard says:

    I work from home and don’t need to be managed. I get on with the job and can be trusted. That’s because I have a work ethic.

    1. Avatar photo Richard's Manager says:

      Stop posting on ISPReview and get back to work!

    2. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      This is your manager’s manager. We’re sending you your P45 in the post, but due to healthy and safety reasons we can’t get anyone in the office to lick the stamp for the letter. It honestly has nothing to do with us not having anyone in the office, honestly.

      As we can’t fire you without written confirmation, keep doing what you’re not doing. You’ll continue to get your payslips via email.

      Thanks for your contribution, or lack thereof.

      Yours apathetically,

      Your manager’s manager

    3. Avatar photo Your CEO says:

      I’m the CEO, NO Bonuses this year….. also we need to talk about your invoices.

  4. Avatar photo Richard says:

    Great post Matt

  5. Avatar photo Richard says:

    Richard’s Manager says:

    I’m on holiday boss. Honestly lol

  6. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    “Virgin Media reveals UK Connectivity Trends for 2023 so they feel justified in excessive price increases for 2024 based on their data”

  7. Avatar photo Jimmy says:

    VM’s number 1 connectivity trend for 2023 is that wherever alt-nets are serving, they lose custom. Because it’s cheaper, better connectivity and don’t have to deal with their incredibly (bad) customer service.

Comments are closed

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