Comms Index

September 2020
Introducing our September 2020 insights and trends from the world of Voice, SMS and data traffic. Collated by your Signum – your usage profiling and tariffing experts.
Telescope Comms Index ipad


Data growth driven by COVID-19

Mobility usage reflects our environment. Forecasts of dramatic increases in consumption by 2025 have been accelerated by behavioural changes & working practices.

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

Our subset of heavy users on daily reporting are showing a 40% jump in total data usage

  • Post Covid-19 usage changes driving increase in mobile data consumption
  • Roaming data volumes remain low, however, average usage per active subscriber doubles
  • Total talk time peaked in lockdown, now returning to more normal levels
  • Roaming slumped based upon travel restrictions, yet IDD call volumes remain steady. Average call duration up on all call types
  • Post April peak, total SMS volumes showing steady decline as UCaaS applications (WhatsApp, Slack, Teams etc) become more of the business new normal


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

Calculation = Stacked 100% of Total IDD Destination Minutes Usage by Region


  • APAC = Asia Pacific
  • ME = Middle East
  • NA = North America
  • RoW = Rest of World
  • EU Other = European Non Roam Like Home
  • EU (RLH) = European Roam Like Home

Notes about UK Voice Minutes

Voice Minutes United Kingdom

  • UK landline and national are all calls starting with 01x, 02x or 03x
  • UK Mobile are all calls starting 07x and including corporate VPN services
  • UK NGN & Premium include all calls charged at higher out of bundle rates to non-geographic or premium destinations starting with 05x, 08x, 070x or 09x.

Notes about International and Roaming Voice

  • IDD is International Dialled Destination referring to all calls originating from the mobile device in the UK to any international destination
  • RLH O/B – Roam Like Home Outbound incorporates all calls originating from the mobile device while in RLH tariff countries to any international destination
  • RoW I/B – Rest of World Inbound incorporates all calls received by the user when roaming in non UK or RLH countries
  • RoW O/B – Rest of World Outbound incorporates all calls originating from the mobile device while roaming in non UK or RLH countries to any international destination

SMS Indices


Total Monthly SMS Volumes