The Dutch called 45 minutes longer than normal during lockdown months | NOW

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During the lockdown, the Dutch called an average of 45 minutes longer than normal per month, according to an analysis by NU.nl based on figures published by the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) on Wednesday. It only concerns calls via fixed or mobile telephony: (video) calling via the internet is not included.

In April, May and June, the Dutch called an average of 4 hours and 4 minutes per month. Normally people call 46 minutes shorter: 3 hours and 18 minutes per month. NU.nl looked for this at the average number of calling minutes from 2018 and 2019.

The cabinet announced on March 23 that the Netherlands was largely locked up. The exact end of the lockdown has not been formally determined, but many measures were partly reversed on 1 June. For example, the catering industry was allowed to reopen and public transport went according to the normal timetable. A month later, further relaxation followed.

In the first quarter of 2020, the Dutch called longer than usual on average, although the increase was not as sharp as during the lockdown. In the first three months of the year, people phoned for 3 hours and 44 minutes a month: almost half an hour longer than normal. ACM does not divide the figures further, so it is unclear whether the increase mainly took place in March or perhaps earlier.

ACM publishes the number of minutes called based on information from the telecom providers. In 2018 and 2019, they registered nearly 10.3 billion minutes called per quarter. In the first three months of this year, that number was over 11.6 billion minutes; over the next three months, the number rose by another billion.

“That is striking, because the number of call minutes previously decreased,” said ACM in an explanation. The authority concludes that the corona crisis has a visible effect on telephone traffic. Mobile data usage also rose, but less rapidly than usual. This is probably because many people stayed at home and used WiFi instead of 3G or 4G.





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