Mobile internet usage has jumped by 10 percent since the lockdown.
A combination of factors has led to the mitigation of network overload
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Over the last few weeks, as the Coronavirus puts parts of the world under lockdown, Europe was quickly starting to notice a major strain on its internet infrastructure. Then, India went into a 3-week lockdown and given that everyone is now home, it was assumed that we too would start taxing the ISPs with our incessant binge-watching. Turns out, that just isn’t the case, and that bandwidth consumption has only jumped up a mere 10 percent ever since the country went into lockdown.
Complete lockdown of the country has meant that the entire population is now indoors, sparking off speculation that this would result in a massive spike in internet usage, mostly via due to streaming. Many ignored some obvious facts, facts being that even though most of us are locked indoors, we’re still all working. Additionally, we forgot about all the bandwidth that was now NOT being used up in office premises. For the last few days, there has been a lot of talk about streaming services being asked to reduce the stream quality, with YouTube actually hard-limiting their app to 480p for mobile devices.
According to Economic Times, “Data consumption on mobile networks has increased by about 10-12% and in fact, in places like Delhi, it has inched by 3% while in some areas of the capital, it has actually fallen.” ET attributes the quote to a senior government official who had requested to remain anonymous. In conjunction with this, Rajan S Mathews, DG, COAI said that “Over the past few days, the industry, in concert with actions coordinated with the DoT, has seen a flattening of traffic demand on member’s networks. Some of these actions relate to streaming services reducing their content from HD to SD, local municipalities working with Operators to bring sealed towers back on line, some redistribution of traffic on the network, among other things. As a result, Operators believe there is no present need to request for any additional spectrum. Based on the present condition of Member networks, we believe there is no such present need and Operators remain confident the steps they have taken presently can maintain the relatability and quality of their networks and services.”
Essentially, the steps taken by the DoT, COAI and steaming services put together has prevented the networks from coming under strain, and hence, there is no need for any extra spectrum to be allotted.
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