Telkom said yesterday that it had observed that internet usage was generally biased towards web browsing and streaming services, irrespective of the time of the day. Picture: SIMPHIWE MBOKAZI/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Telkom said yesterday that it had observed that internet usage was generally biased towards web browsing and streaming services, irrespective of the time of the day. Picture: SIMPHIWE MBOKAZI/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Internet usage biased towards web browsing and streaming – Telkom

By Given Majola Time of article published Feb 12, 2021

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DURBAN - TELKOM said yesterday that it had observed that internet usage was generally biased towards web browsing and streaming services, irrespective of the time of the day.

Telkom group executive for Mobile Network Hugo Van Zyl said, however, that as would be expected, services like Microsoft Teams and Zoom were used roughly nine times more during the day than at night.

“Despite heavy usage of streaming services throughout the day, usage of these is slightly higher (10-20 percent) during the night. Messaging and social media services are roughly 20-30 percent higher in the day versus at night,” said Van Zyl.

In the first six months after South Africa went into lockdown last year, Telkom said it saw an 80 percent year-on-year increase in data consumption compared to the same period in 2019.

The group said this had since tapered down slightly, but the “new normal” of increased work and school from home had sustained these high volumes of data use.

Van Zyl said the data usage for online shopping had also increased significantly since the first lockdown. Streaming, Web Browsing, Social Media Networking Services (SNS) and Instant Messaging (IM) were said to be the highest drivers of traffic on the network.

Telkom said its decision to invest in infrastructure ahead of demand had proven to be the right decision and has enabled the group to meet the surge in demand for broadband services.

Its network performance improved, indicating a 16 percent increase in downlink, 44 percent increase in uplink and 35 percent latency improvement during and beyond various stages of the lockdown.

Van Zyl said a purposeful investment in the deployment of temporary spectrum where possible, contributed significantly to these improvements.

"We continued our network expansion, increasing the number of new sites and thereby extending the percentage of LTE/LTE-A technology in the network, with an increase of over 20 percent for LTE-A. We continue to focus on fibre-fed mobile sites, balancing the need for speed of execution and future backhaul needs."

Meanwhile, Cell C chief technology officer Schalk Visser said Cell C saw more data traffic during the 7pm-7am night period than the corresponding day period.

"While all of our most used services record more night traffic than day traffic, the services that show the greatest percentage differences are the streaming entertainment services such as Netflix. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook also show more prevalent usage at night. Of the most used services, WhatsApp displays the most evenly distributed traffic pattern," said Visser.

Cell C said it was confident it had the available capacity to meet the increased demand in traffic for both data and voice services.

Last month, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa said the licensing of high demand spectrum would continue as planned unless there was a court order issued to delay or halt the process.

The regulator said the licensing of high-demand spectrum processes would bring with it greater spin-offs for government, business and consumers in the form of faster broadband speed, economic recovery, investment and better quality of service and experience.

The release of the radio frequency spectrum was said to have the potential to make a meaningful contribution to South Africa’s ailing economy. It was also key for the country’s multifaceted efforts to return the economy to a better credit rating as well as forge a new economy in a new global reality.

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