Home-work effect: Mobile data consumption jumps 25%, video crosses 60%

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Published: March 24, 2020 7:42:00 AM

The telcos have also said the government should direct video streaming platforms  to offer only standard definition (SD) and not high definition (HD) content for the time being so as not to choke the bandwidth.  

To ease such congestion, telcos have requested the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to allocate additional spectrum in 1800 MHz band.

With more and more people starting to work from home in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, there has been a tremendous explosion in data usage, particularly video streaming. Industry executives said data usage per customer has shown a growth of around 20-25% in the week gone by.

Normally, data usage per customer on a monthly basis is around 9-10 GB, of which around 60% is used for video streaming. With people shifting to work from home as well as with schools and colleges shut or some classes being held online, video streaming has crossed the 60% mark.

Telecom industry executives say video streaming is also on the rise with many staying indoors and spending much more time than earlier on OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Though due to extensive 4G network creation by companies such as Reliance  Jio and Bharti Airtel, so far the infrastructure has been able to take the load, but going forward, there could be some choking leading to slower data speeds which may impact essential services like tele-medicine. “It’s like a highway where all the city’s vehicles come at the same time. Obviously there would be slower movement and traffic congestion at points,” an executive said.

To ease such congestion, telcos have requested the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to allocate additional spectrum in 1800 MHz band for broadband coverage temporarily. They have also asked for additional back-haul spectrum.

The telcos have also said the government should direct video streaming platforms  to offer only standard definition (SD) and not high definition (HD) content for the time being so as not to choke the bandwidth.

“Reducing the quality to SD from HD can lead to 15-20% reduction in traffic,” they said.
Just how the increase in data consumption has been happening can be gauged from the fact that most customers are now exhausting all of their 1.5-2 GB daily data limit.

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