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Comms Index

December 2020

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UK Data Usage and Total SMS Volumes Sees A Decrease in The Month Of December

Month by month update for 2020 now available, we will move to quarterly datasets in 2021

Bob Baker

Bob Baker


Bob Baker is the owner and founder of Signum International Limited and acknowledged as an industry expert in the field of telecoms insights and billing

Comparing Dec 2020 to Dec 2019, total UK data volumes increased by 23%

  • UK average data transaction volume increased by 16% Dec’20 on Dec’19
  • 100% increase in average roaming usage while volumes down by 75%
  • 52% increase in UK mobile call volumes Dec’20 on Dec’19
  • 30%+ increase in average call duration times across all call types 
  • 6% reduction in total SMS volumes Dec’20 v ‘19, 24% down v Apr 2020 peak


A Word About Our Data …

As we have integrated our Signum DNA into Telescope, our Self Service Analytics platform for communications insights, what better way to promote one of the UK’s largest enterprise based expense management research and analysis data warehouses.

We process in excess of 1M active subscriptions, 2.5 petabytes of data usage, 200M voice minutes and 25M SMS events per month:

  • All voice volumes are reported in minutes
  • All data volumes are reported in Gigabytes (Gb)
  • Each SMS/MMS as a single event record

Using a 5 month average (inclusive Nov’19 to Mar’20) as our baseline, we wondered how usage had changed and what our “new normal” looks like.

Data Indices


Avg Data Usage by Active Subscriber per Zone

Calculation = Total Gb Usage divided by Total Count of Active Subscribers per Zone


  • UK = United Kingdom
  • RLH = Roam Like Home (predominantly EU)
  • RoW = Rest of World (All non RLH / UK countries)

Monthly Aggregate Roaming Profile by Region

Calculation = Stacked 100% of Total Gb Usage by Region 


  • EU (RLH) = Roam Like Home EU
  • EU = Other Europe (non RLH)
  • NA = North Americas (USA & Canada)
  • APAC = Asia Pacific 
  • RoW = Rest of World

Notes about Data Zones

  • Roam Like Home (RLH EU) includes countries such as France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands and Spain
  • EU includes countries such as Albania, Bosnia, Israel, Turkey and Ukraine
  • North Americas includes both United States of America (USA) and Canada (CAN)
  • Asia Pacific includes countries such asAustralia, China, Japan, Malaysia and New Zealand as well as South Africa (ZAR) 
  • Rest of World includes all countries not incorporated in previous categories

Voice Indices


Average Total Talk Time in Minutes per Active Subscriber

Calculation = Total Monthly Minutes divided by Total Active (All) Subscribers


  • ITU ICT – Heavy User ( 140 Minutes) Benchmark profile

Average Call Duration by Call Type & Location

Calculation = Total Minutes divided by Total Number of Calls by Call Type


  • UK Std = UK Standard Geographic & Mobile
  • IDD = UK origination of International Direct Dial calls
  • EU O/B = EU origination of outbound calls
  • RoW B/W = Inbound and Outbound (Both Way) calls while


Monthly Aggregate Minutes Roaming Profile by Region

Calculation = Stacked 100% of Total Minutes Usage by Region


  • APAC = Asia Pacific
  • NA = North America (USA & Canada)
  • RoW = Rest of World
  • EU Other = European (Non RoamLikeHome)
  • EU (RLH) = European RoamLikeHome

Monthly Aggregate IDD Minutes Profile by Region