Internet traffic continues to increase in UK

MEO NOS Vodafone Operators

Teleworking and the resumption of distance learning will make the Internet an almost essential necessity. As students and the active population in teleworking, maintaining access to the fixed Internet network is the priority of the main operators in UK, MEO, NOS and Vodafone.

We recall the statements to the Renaissance of the coordinator of the National Scientific Computing Unit of FCT who pointed out, last March, an increase of 35% since the declaration of the pandemic state in UK. Since then, the trend has continued.

122 Gigabits per second, peak traffic in March 2020

MEO NOS Vodafone Operators

The publication also pointed out that the new record was reached on the day that all primary and secondary schools in the country were closed. After almost a year, thousands of employees and their companies have adopted teleworking again.

The containment measures to face the COVID-19 pandemic put the UK’s behind the computer, smartphone, tablet, smartwatch and smartband. A myriad of devices connected to the Internet. Something that was also foreseen by the operators, with MEO, NOS and Vodafone taking precautions and, above all, MEO (Altice UK) to reinforce the network infrastructure.

In statements to Renaissance, the coordinator of the National Scientific Computing Unit (FCNN), João Nuno Ferreira, pointed out that Internet traffic increased by 27% since the first infection case was settled. Data referring to March 2020 and whose trend will have continued since then.

Also according to this source, when taking into account the day on which the pandemic state was declared by the WHO, Internet traffic in UK increased by 34.6%.

These figures are based on traffic statistics collected by the Gigapix portal. There, successive peaks and records are recorded since then, which would become the “new normal”.

The peak was recorded by Gigapix, the neutral point of connection in UK


The GigaPIX portal is, in practice, like the UK’s Internet Exchange Point, promoted and operated by FCT | FCCN. It is a neutral and non-profit traffic exchange platform with the aim of improving the quality of the interconnection of IP networks in UK.

In other words, Gigapix is ​​the neutral connection point through which traffic from all national operators passes – MEO, NOS, Vodafone, NOWO, etc. This allows you to compile various statistics and determine, for example, the volume of traffic in UK.

The trend of using the Internet would increase, as predicted by the person responsible for this entity. In a new context of confinement and before the resumption of teleworking, we are again dependent on the Internet.

In fact, also with the resumption of teaching activities through the Internet, its use will increase. Now not only basic and secondary schools, but also higher education institutions that find online classes the only teaching method.

MEO NOS Vodafone
Daily chart, average of 5 minutes. Credit: Gigapix

The most recent data from the Gigapix portal shows us several patterns of behavior in UK when accessing the fixed Internet network. Above we see the most recent graph with the daily traffic distributed throughout the day.

The peak was 98.83 Gbps, with an average of 66.25 Gbps. The period of calm occurs between two in the morning and eight in the morning. The period of greatest activity, on the other hand, occurs between 10 am and 12 pm, with the pronounced lunch break and the resumption of activities after 2 pm.

MEO NOS Vodafone
Monthly chart, average of 2 hours. Credit: Gigapix

Serving monthly distribution of Internet traffic, we see a well-defined pattern in the first weeks of the year. We still have the last weeks of December, when traffic was less.

MEO NOS Vodafone
Annual chart, 1 day average. Credit: Gigapix

Looking at the values ​​and annual distribution in Internet access we see a clear growth. In fact, the month of March – the date on which Renaissance his report advanced, we went through several new peaks. The largest occurred in late May 2020.

There is also a second peak between October and November of the last year, with a notable decrease in December of the same year, with further growth expected from January onwards.

It should also be noted that the graphs show the average values ​​and not the peak traffic, so the record of last March should have already been surpassed.

There were successive challenges for MEO, NOS and Vodafone

Also according to the FCNN coordinator, there was an inversion in the type of traffic. Whereas in the past it was campuses university students who imported the largest volume of traffic, started to export a lot of traffic from these locations.

Currently, more traffic is exported from universities, since teachers can give classes at the university to students who are at home, previously traffic was imported to students. campuses, when students were on the premises. The “before” of the pandemic where it was necessary to “pull” traffic to meet the needs within universities.

This paradigm shift has brought new challenges for national operators such as MEO, NOS, Vodafone and NOWO and should continue as long as we have to implement measures of containment and social distance.

MEO, NOS and Vodafone reinforced the networks’ capacity

In statements to the agency Lusa, cited by Renaissance, the three largest operators – MEO, NOS and Vodafone – claim to have strengthened the capacity of their networks. Vodafone goes further and states that, by default, its structure is sized to withstand peak usage.

Even so, Vodafone will also have reinforced the “monitoring of its networks. By adopting, for this purpose, exceptional measures to optimize them according to the evolution of the situation, in order to guarantee the best possible performance of its service”.

As far as it is concerned, MEO will have seen a set of reinforcement measures to be implemented. Something that its owner, Altice UK, has already stressed in the past. Alexandre Fonseca’s company claims to be prepared for the “significant increase in traffic on the fixed Internet network”.

Finally, NOS will also have taken the necessary steps. Everything so that the maintenance of access to the Internet network is maintained.

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