Connected Journeys

O2 research shows Brits will spend around 10 hours on motorways this summer

A quarter will stream videos and 62% will stream music as millions expected to hit the road for the long weekend

O2 has released new research showing an expected surge in mobile data traffic along the UK’s main motorways this bank holiday. Over a third of cars on the roads will have more than 3 mobile devices at any time and a quarter of drivers will rely on mobile phones and tablets to keep passengers entertained on staycation road trips by streaming video and music.

O2 was awarded most reliable network on major motorways by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) recently, thanks to its rigorous 4G testing and upgrades – meaning GPS apps will stay connected and families can stream content such as Disney+ uninterrupted from the back of the car. GWS rated O2 the most reliable network on the major UK motorways, including the M1, M6, M25 and M62.

Over the bank holiday weekend last August, an estimated 18 million trips were taken by car – and O2’s research reveals Brits are planning to spend on average more than 10 hours on motorways thanks to another staycation summer as lockdown restrictions ease.

The most popular data-demanding activities O2 expects to support will be streaming films en route to holiday hotspots (25%), streaming music (62%), using GPS apps (30%), going on social media (30%) and sending emails (19%).

In the last 12 months O2 has carried record levels of data – with nearly 90% more data carried this year compared to the pre-pandemic average two years ago4. O2 has also seen new spikes at 3pm each day as young TikTok users log on after school. With more of us using our phones on the go again, it’s no wonder that two thirds of Brits think strong signal and data speeds make summer road trips better.

Omar Calvo, Director of Radio Network Engineering at O2 said:

“As a champion for coverage and reliability, O2 is committed to providing our customers with reliable connectivity across the UK, wherever they are. That’s why we were delighted to be recognised by GWS for our work to improve the 4G signal on major UK motorways to maintain coverage.

We are investing more than ever before in our network, and appreciate customers will rely on mobile devices to stay entertained – and keep the peace – on long road trips.”