The swing toward teleworking and the soaring utilization of apps on smartphones during the spring lockdown, as well as mobile phone companies offering a far greater volume of data, led to an increase in the amount of data used over the first half of the year, a survey by the Association of Mobile Telephony Companies (EEKT) has shown.
In the year’s first six months there was a 66% rise in the amount of data used compared to the same period in 2019, while the pre-tax cost of data use declined by 31.8%. The data use rate increased particularly in the second quarter of the year, to reach 2.58 gigabytes per active subscriber per month, against 1.6 GB a year earlier, for an annual expansion of 61%. Data use has clearly come a long way from the rate of 0.83 GB/month per subscriber in the first quarter of 2018.
The spectacular growth in the amount of data used is also related to the shift of companies to the provision of more, if not indefinite amounts of data on smartphones. Telecommunications professionals say this shift will be even greater in the coming months, as investments in new networks proceed. Then the gradual advent of 5G networks from 2021 is expected to open up both the speed of data and the amount used.
Revenues from services shrank by 4.9% or 888 million euros in the year’s first half from 2019, with roaming takings slumping by 77% in April-June due to the drop in arrivals from abroad caused by the coronavirus travel restrictions. Globally, telecom companies face a major drop in roaming revenues, as trips abroad have fallen by 58% this year.
Despite the revenue decline, according to the EEKT research, the mobile phone sector remains among the most important investors in the country, with a positive effect on the Greek economy. Over the first half of the year, cellphone service providers invested €120.6 million, of which €67 million concerned the second quarter of 2020, which amounts to a 10% increase from last year.