- Telecos claims a 30% increase in traffic amid lockdown
- People are turning to VoD services
- This increase has come in the past 2 weeks
India is the 2nd most populated country in the entire globe and as an attempt to contain the deadly pandemic the 1.3 billion population of the country are under a lockdown which has come as a silver lining for the Telecommunication sector as they report a surge of more than 30% in traffic over the last 2 weeks.
Though the revenue growth may still take some time to catch, the growth in volume has been extraordinary as to hit these kind of numbers in terms of growth, it takes as much as a whole year.
Since the 25th March 2020, the entire nation has been under a lockdown which means more than 130 crore people are staying indoors. The initial lockdown which was to last for 21 days was extended for 19 days more and is scheduled to end on the 3rd of May.
This lockdown has increased the demand for entertainment and communication apart from the video streaming platforms. People in India are using this time to connect with friends and family.
Telecos have seen a significant rise in the usage of data especially from states like Bihar and Haryana.
A leading news agency quoted an executive from a Mumbai based Telecom company saying, “The traffic has shot up like anything. In most of the cases in key cities the traffic has gone up almost 40 to 50% rise in traffic in just 2 weeks. It’s almost full year growth that we saw in just couple of weeks,”.
As the shopping mall, movie theatres and even the eateries are closed due to the lockdown and the social distancing protocol, people are now turning to the Video on Demand (VoD) services which offers a wide array of content in just a click.
Going as per the report shared by Nielsen, a data measurement company, the amount of internet being used in India in the past 4 weeks of COVID-19 disruption has increased by 19% as compared to the pre-Coronavirus period. The growth is driven by an older age group, saying, that the consumption of internet has risen in 35+ catrgory by 35%.
The Video streaming platforms have seen an increase of 12% screen time per user per week as well.
A spokesperson from Vodafone said, “COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) has pegged the growth on data traffic increase at around 25-30%. For us, after a surge in the first few days of the lockdown, it has largely stabilised now,”.
Additionally, the video streaming platforms are now offering free content to catch more eyes apart from the constatntly addition of new content including TV Series and movies. The Prime Video from America giant Amazon.com Inc. has even brought out a special catalogue targeting children and family content which is available for free.
Randeep Sekhon, the Chief Technology Officer at Bharti Airtel said, “On the Mobile network side we are seeing shift in traffic hotspots and peak usage hours and are geared to meet this demand. Home Broadband customers are now upgrading to faster speeds and larger quota plans to support work from home and study for home needs.”
This has come at a time when the Telecom companies in India were struggling to pay their dues to the government as per AGR.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hungama Digital Media, Neeraj Roya said, “The world is faced with a pandemic that is unprecedented and limiting social interactions has been advised as an effective measure to flatten the curve. OTT (over-the-top) platforms help people cope with the monotony of being restricted to their houses and also provide some relief from the grim reality,”.