Verizon customers making 800 million calls a day now—double the amount on Mother's Day


As people across the country remain isolated at home due to the spread of COVID-19, Verizon has seen a huge spike in cell-phone usage, higher than peak times like Mother's Day or New Year's Eve. 

"We've had 800 million calls a day. That's double the amount of calls you would have on Mother's Day, which is the busiest [Sunday] of the year," Verizon CEO Hans Vestburg told David Faber on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Friday.

"And the calls are 33% longer, the duration of them."

And it's not just calls.

"We have 9 billion [text] messages a day.... It's enormous traffic on the network."

The spike is perhaps not surprising — social distancing can be emotionally taxing, and experts advise maintaining contact with friends and loved ones even if it's just over the phone.

Along with an increase in calls and text messages, Verizon has seen a "dramatic" change in the applications being used on its network.

"We have increased gaming by 107%," he said. And "We have increased VPN, connections from home, with over 50%," as a result of companies across the country working remotely, he said.

On March 18, Vestberg told Jim Cramer on CNBC's "Mad Money" that Verizon had started to see a surge in data usage as employees across the U.S. began to work remotely and practice social distancing.  

"You see that, as this country is changing quite dramatically how we operate, our network is changing," Vestberg told Cramer.

Correction: This article has been revised with Verizon correcting that Mother's Day is the busiest Sunday of the year and 9 billion text messages is not equivalent to New Year's Eve volume.

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