Greeks spent an eye-popping 4.6 billion hours on their mobile phones in 2020, according to new research presented on Thursday. In just the first six months of 2020 — as the pandemic took a firm hold on society — data usage climbed an astounding 86%, going up to 1.5 Gigabytes for each SIM card used. And this doesn’t even count the phone time spent on Apple/iOS devices such as iPhones.
In just the first half of 2020, the amount of data usage in Greece was equivalent to 1.5 GB per SIM card — compared to 2.3 GB in usage during the entirety of the year in 2019.
The research, collated by the mobile data analytics company App Annie, shows how completely dependent society has become on these devices, especially during the pandemic, when Greeks were, and are once again, obliged to send SMS to the government before they leave home.
The result was also to be expected since so much learning and work are now done from home as well.
The time spent on our phones — equivalent to 12.7 million hours per day — was just one part of the 3.5 trillion hours spent by people globally in 2020 by Android users.
124 million euros spent on apps
And the amount of money expended by Greeks last year for the purchase of apps, through the Google App Store, reflected the vast increase in time spent online on our phones.
A total of 124 million euros were spent on such apps, while the company also stated in its report that there were 250 million downloads during the past year.
The survey also showed that there was a 7% increase in the demand for new apps and games across the world during the pandemic-ravaged past year, when so many were stuck at home, and consumers paid more than 20% more for such items than they had the previous year, amounting to 340 billion euros.
Perhaps most interesting of all, another recent survey, by the firm Tefficient, found that Croatia, followed by Greece, topped the world in the increase in data use in the first half of 2020 compared to the same months of 2019.
Of all of the 44 countries studied, Croatia broke all records for data use by increasing its growth rate by 128%, to 6.2 GB.
Greece climbs in world rankings for data use
Greece is now ranked 40th in the world for its data use — climbing much higher in the rankings after coming in last during 2019 in Tefficient’s study of 44 countries. However, perhaps most amazingly, Greece is still known as a “closed club”, along with the nations of Canada, Germany, Belgium, and Portugal, where data usage by most pf the populace remains relatively low.
In a turn which is very favorable to consumers, the surveys found that the increased usage overall did not translate into a cost increase per gigabyte — they actually dropped during the first half of 2020 due to telecom companies’ decisions to provide unlimited data.
During the holidays, the Greek firm Cosmote offered all its subscribers unlimited mobile Internet, without any restrictions, and Vodafone and Wind announced recently that they will also have similar offers to consumers. As Greece and the world enter into the new 5G world, it is expected that there will be yet more similarities in the data plans offered by telecommunications companies, with most moving to unlimited data availability.