Rapid growth in internet data volume 2020 – digital


The data volume used on the Internet has continued to skyrocket. In 2020 it was an estimated 76 billion gigabytes, 16 billion more than in 2019, according to figures from the Federal Network Agency that are available to the German Press Agency.

It’s about the landline internet, i.e. the connections at home or in the office. Per connection it was around 175 gigabytes per month (2019: 142). The Bonn authority justified the development with the corona pandemic, which has changed user behavior – people are more at home and surf the net or stream films, also because there is a lack of opportunities to go out.

However, the trend has been going up for several years – in 2018 the growth in data volume of around 30 percent was even higher than in 2019 (plus 27 percent). A look back to illustrate the rapid increase: In 2015, German citizens used an average of less than a quarter of the data volume that they use today. Also because Internet applications are becoming more data-intensive, demand is increasing – films are streamed in particularly high-resolution versions (HD instead of SD or Ultra HD instead of HD), online computer games also need more bandwidth, and people generally use the Internet more than in the past .

The data volume has also skyrocketed in mobile broadband – i.e. via smartphones or tablets with SIM cards. According to the Federal Network Agency, it was 2.76 billion gigabytes in 2019, but usage rose to 3.97 billion gigabytes in 2020. At 38 percent, the growth rate was significantly higher than in previous years. This development was also due to Corona. People have been traveling less, and commuting to work has been eliminated thanks to the home office – so the time outside of the home Wi-Fi has been shortened. However, many consumers also use mobile data in their own homes, also because the data packets in mobile phone contracts are getting bigger and bigger.

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