Telenor Sweden says Covid-19 causes average 42% rise in mobile data use in 2020, calls up 25%

Telenor Sweden said that total mobile data traffic in 2020, for both downloads and uploads, rose by an average of 42 percent after the Covid-19 outbreak change users’ behaviour patterns. The peak was in March when the pandemic first broke out, and older people raised their mobile data use the most, with an increase of 45 percent. sweden mobile data use

After the authorities at the beginning of March declared that the risk of infection in Sweden was very high and urged the Swedes to work from home, mobile surfing and the number of calls skyrocketed. In March alone, Swedes surfed 32 percent more than in February, and telephone calls were also the longest and most during the same period. Uploaded data, which largely consists of video calls, also increased sharply.

The same trend has been noticeable, especially during the autumn, in line with a rapidly increasing spread of infection and continued restrictions. During September-November, mobile surfing increased by 31 percent compared with the same period last year, while telephone calls clearly increased in length by 12 percent and in number by 25 percent.

– We saw increased surfing volumes in the mobile network this spring when many became isolated and a large proportion of Swedes started working from home, and the trend has continued throughout the year. This is a trend that will continue as the mobile network is strengthened and the expansion of 5G takes off. I do not think we will not be less connected in the future than we are today, says Andres Suazo, network expert at Telenor.sweden mobile data use

The age group that has surfed the most this year is people between 41-50 years. This is a trend break from recent years when people aged 18-30 have consumed the most surf data. But those who have increased their mobile data consumption the most are the elderly, where the age groups 61-70 years and 70+ are the ones who stand out with an increase of 45 percent compared to 2019.

At the same time as our elderly have in many ways had it tougher than ever, we see that digital exclusion has decreased. It is clear that the pandemic has given rise to behavioral changes throughout society, where both the number of telephone calls and contact with loved ones via video has increased sharply. The exact number of calls is otherwise something that usually drops annually, says Andres Suazo.

Summer surfing on Öland, beautiful in Blekinge, quieter in Norrland – and Finland got many calls
Locally, the largest increase in mobile surfing has taken place in Kalmar County, where surfing increased by as much as 78 percent and with a massive surf peak during the summer in connection with many Swedes took the opportunity to go on holiday. Borgholm on northern Öland is the municipality that surfs the most in the country.

Skåne, Västra Götaland and Stockholm all end up in the top 5 in terms of the number of telephone calls per capita, but still land far behind the people of Blekinge who stand out by making the most calls (over 500 calls per person). On the other hand, it has been all the quieter in the handset in Norrbotten, Västerbotten and Västernorrland, which ends up at the bottom of the list. At the same time, the average call length has increased the most in Norrbotten (+ 20%). In total, you make the longest calls on Gotland. The record was week 47 when the calls lasted an average of 259 seconds. The average call duration is 3.5 minutes.

Telenor’s roaming data shows that international surfing has decreased by 39 percent compared with last year, and in Spain, which annually tops international surfing, Swedes have surfed 50% less. The number of calls from Sweden to abroad remains at the same levels as last year with one exception, Finland. Our Nordic neighbor to the east has received 40,000 more calls than last year.

The year in numbers – so the Swedes surfed and talked 2020
(unless otherwise stated, the data is based on the comparison between weeks 1-47, in 2020 and 2019)

Mobile surfing sweden mobile data use

  • The total mobile surfing (downloaded + uploaded data) has increased by an average of 42%
  • The largest increase is in Kalmar County (78%) followed by Jämtland (55%) and Dalarna (49%).
  • Blekinge residents mobile surf the most per capita. In Västerbotten, people surf at least per capita. Borgholm is the municipality that surfs the most per capita.
  • Uploaded mobile data (primarily video calls) has increased by an average of 39%
  • Uploaded mobile data increases most in Jämtland County (57%) followed by Västernorrland (53%).
  • Seniors (people between 61-70 years, or 70+) are the age group that increases their mobile surfing the most (45%) in 2020
  • People between 41-50 years have surfed the most this year. This is followed by people between 31-40 years and then 18-30 years. Historically, people between the ages of 18-30 are usually “big surfers”. This year’s figures are probably a result of increased telework.
  • Swedes surfed 16% more in the spring (week 11-22) than in the autumn (week 37-47).

This is how much the total mobile surfing in Sweden’s county increases:

Uppsala (+ 35%)
Dalarna (+ 49%)
Gotland (+ 29%)
Gävleborg (+ 46%)
Halland (+ 39%)
Jämtland (+ 55%)
Jönköping (+ 38%)
Kalmar (+ 78%)
Kronoberg ( + 43%)
Norrbotten (+ 41%)
Skåne (+ 42%)
Stockholm (+ 33%)
Södermanland (+ 42%)
Uppsala (+ 40%)
Värmland (+ 43%)
Västerbotten (+ 35%)
Västernorrland (+45 %)
Västmanland (+ 24%)
Västra Götaland (+ 35%)
Örebro (+ 48%)
Östergötland (44%)

Here, total mobile surfing increases the most (municipality):
Högsby (126%)
Ockelbo (108%)
Torsås (106%)
Ödeshög (93%)
Oskarshamn (83%)

Here you surf most per capita (county):

Here you surf the most per capita (municipality):

Here you surf the least per capita (county):

Uploaded mobile data increases the most (municipality):
Torsås (109%)
Säffle (93%)
Ockelbo (87%)
Upplands-Bro (85%)
Arvika (84%)

Phone call

  • The number of calls increased by 27% during the year
  • The number of calls increases most in Jämtland County (51%)
  • Blekinge residents make by far the most calls per capita.
  • Västerbotten, Västernorrland and Norrbotten make at least one call per capita.
  • Metropolitan regions call a lot per capita (Skåne, Västra Götaland and Stockholm are all in the top 5)
  • The average length of a phone call is approximately 3.5 minutes
  • The length of the conversation increased during the year by (11%)
  • Call duration has increased the most in Norrbotten (20%)
  • The longest calls were made during week 12 (early March). It was the week after the Swedish Public Health Agency had upgraded the risk of infection in Sweden to “very high.” The call duration was then 227 seconds.
  • This spring, during the period week 11 – 22 (March-May), Swedes made an average of 10 seconds longer calls compared to during the autumn, week 37 – 47 (September – November). The national average length of a call in the spring was 211 seconds and in the autumn 201 seconds.
  • The longer the spring went on, the shorter the conversations became. During week 22, the average call was down to 198 seconds.
  • In total, you make the longest calls on Gotland. The record was week 47 when the calls lasted an average of 259 seconds.

Here the number of calls increases the most (counties):
Jämtland (51%)
Dalarna (33%)
Värmland (33%)
Västernorrland (31%)
Kronoberg (31%)

Here the number of calls increases the most (municipality):
Dorotea (78%)
Eda (77%)
Berg (65%)
Åre (64%)
Härjedalen (63%)

Here you make the most calls per capita (county):
Västra Götaland

Here you make at least one call per capita (county):


  • Between January and October, Swedes’ surfing abroad decreased by 39% compared with the same period last year. The number of call minutes abroad has decreased by 41%.
  • Spain is the country where it is roamed the most every year, so also in 2020, but the total amount of surfing has decreased by over 50% this year.
  • Spain, Sweden’s three neighboring countries and the United Kingdom together make up the five countries where Swedes surf abroad the most during the year. The total surfing abroad decreases by more than 50% in all ducks.
  • The number of calls from Sweden to abroad remains at approximately the same levels as last year.
  • We make most international calls to:
    United Kingdom
  • Of these five countries, only the number of international calls to Finland increased during the year (approximately 40,000 more calls than in 2019).
  • Norwegians have surfed the most in Sweden during the year. Norway is followed by Poland, Denmark, Germany and Finland. Norwegians, on the other hand, surfed twice as much in Sweden last year. Polish tourists, on the other hand, have surfed more in Sweden this year than last year.sweden mobile data use
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