5.9m Brits are feeling left in the cold as Christmas celebrations are canceled, and people are left isolated to keep loved ones safe.

With yet another blow to our mental health and wellbeing, a third of Brits are ever reliant on livestreaming to ensure they do not miss a beat, with most choosing to use mobile networks as their connectivity of choice.

Unfortunately, the U.K.'s wireless connectivities spark contentious issues, with almost a quarter of those surveyed saying it damaged their experience and that 'feeling' you can only really get at an event. Almost 30% said they're excited about 5G rolling out to resolve these problems - but when will that happen?!

Global Wireless Solutions Survey 5.9M Brits to Have Online Holidays

The representative survey of 2,023 consumers conducted by mobile network benchmarking company Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) releases its results. Between late November and early December, the study showed a surge on the use of streaming services and video calling to celebrate events remotely . 

An estimated 5.9 million U.K. adults (11%) expect to use live streaming apps during Christmas celebrations with friends and family, down only slightly from the 12% of Brits who say they did the same during last year's lockdown Christmas. Likewise, those who will celebrate New Year remotely through livestreamed gatherings with loved ones is expected to be approximately 5.9 million (11%).

Holidays in the UK to rely on Livestreaming due to COVID-19 Omicron
(Photo : Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels)

Video Conferencing Via Zoom, Other Remote Apps for Christmas

GWS says that more than one in three Brits (34%) say that video calling and remote events have helped them feel included when they were unable to attend a celebration.

The survey revealed that 28% said that it helped them feel connected to friends and family, feeling included in the celebrations of Christmas, one of the most significant holidays in the U.K. 

However, this does not go over the fact that 37% of people stated that they preferred to connect in person. Nevertheless, participants said that video streaming and live video services have provided much-needed relief through lockdowns and further restrictions. 

Apps in the U.K. for remote celebrations:

U.K. mobile users report using several video conferencing and video call services at higher rates: 

  • 31% of respondents that use Facebook Messenger said that they use it more often now than before the pandemic
  • 23% of Facetime users
  • 31% of Zoom users reported that they use those apps more regularly now than before

The survey also reveals that many Brits suffer from connectivity issues that prevent them from entirely using these services. The service of these apps and companies will still be the choice of the public in contacting their loved ones. 

Fortunately for mobile users, the U.K.'s 5G rollout continues to expand nationwide, resulting in improvements to current mobile networks and helping to ensure that family members will have sufficient connectivity.

Survey respondents on the O2 network complained the least among the customers of the four big mobile operators when asked which issues impacted their ability to both watch and initiate a Livestream.

COVID-19 Omicron and the 2021 Holidays

"The pandemic continues to underline the importance of robust digital connectivity that allows people to meet virtually when the risks of in person socialising are high." says Paul Carter, CEO, Global Wireless Solutions.

"Video calling and livestreaming have provided so many with much needed relief when families and friends are forced apart over important celebrations like Christmas, New Years, and other occasions. Our data points to the fact that whilst current network capabilities allow people to feel connected, there are limitations."

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Written by Isaiah Richard

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