In the age of the coronavirus pandemic, consumers are spending more time reconnecting with friends, loved ones and colleagues the old fashioned way.
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Verizon, one of the largest telecom companies in the U.S., has seen an average of 800 million voice calls per weekday since the shelter-at-home orders around the country began. That's more than double the number of calls made on Mother's Day, one of the busiest voice call days of the year for the company, Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon Communications told FOX Business. And the number of time users are spending on the phone is up 33 percent.
To help customers stay connected, the company said it made all of its customers' plans unlimited during the pandemic.
“We’re performing [as well as] our peak days of the year on a daily basis,” Vestberg told FOX Business' Stuart Varney earlier this month.
The number of cell phone calls among AT&T users, meanwhile, increased by 29 percent on Monday compared to normal times, while Wifi-based calling surged 88 percent compared to the average Monday.
And cell phone company Ting Mobile has also seen a surge in voice phone calls among users.
“Voice calls and to a lesser extent, text messages have increased. We can only assume, but we think this is people checking in on and talking with less connected friends and family by phone,” Andrew Moore-Crispin, director of content at Ting Mobile, said in a statement.
The company launched a $15 unlimited talk and text pay-per-use mobile data plan catering to people’s changing cell phone use.
It’s a sharp turnaround from previous years. A study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project in 2011 found that 31 percent of American adults said they prefer texting to phone calls, with 4 percent saying they never make or accept voice calls.