Everyone at home. That is the slogan that keeps half the world locked up in their homes. For the countries where they have not yet adopted the order of confinement, everything seems to indicate that it is a matter of hours before the confinement arrives. Telework is imposed and all the elements of the family units are locked in the house and naturally, making intensive use of the internet connection.
In Spain, after Italy and China, the third country to enact a state of emergency and forced seclusion, networks have seen their traffic increase by 40 percent in connections through the domestic router and an exaggerated 50 percent in consumption data from mobile phones. Can operators guarantee such an explosion in internet consumption? We have contacted some of the main operators and s, in principle, we can rest easy.
Why exactly is data consumption skyrocketing? The question may seem obvious and the answer more or less obvious, but it really isn't because we are spending more time using social networks or playing Fortnite: what is driving data consumption is fundamentally video calls and remote student connections. To give you an idea, WhatsApp has multiplied its data consumption in this country by five, something that has already happened, to a lesser extent, in Italy, the first country in the old continent to apply the massive quarantine.
Operators guarantee network scaling
Are we at risk of a network crash? This answer must be given by the infrastructures of each country, but in principle there will be no problems.
Spain is the first European country and the third in the world in providing fiber optic infrastructure and also has one of the best mobile networks in Europe. It is precisely this network, built by the operators with effort and millionaire investments, that is allowing the optimal functioning of digital communications, thus making isolation more bearable in the professional and also in the personal.
This reassuring statement has been issued in an unprecedented joint statement by the five operators that have their own network in Spain (Movistar, Orange, Vodafone, Grupo Masmovil and Grupo Euskaltel). The generous investment in infrastructure in a country accustomed to connection peaks caused by the massive influx of tourism, is allowing us to weather this unexpected situation. How do they manage to avoid collapse? Operators have equipment monitoring the networks 24 hours a day and apply geographic redundancy criteria when they see that a specific area reaches a peak in consumption.
From Vodafone, they have confirmed Digital Trends in Spanishthat the connection is guaranteed since the networks are permanently dimensioned to adapt to the needs. However, the operators of this country have announced in the aforementioned press release that they are investing in increasing the capacity of the networks even more, but these measures are not effective immediately, so it urges users to make use smart network.
Collaborate and be supportive by following these tips
Since not all countries may be in a position to guarantee the connection, as it happens in Spain, it is advisable to apply the advice of the operators of this country to avoid collapses. The war against the coronavirus has in solidarity and unity of all its main bulwark and this is also applicable in the consumption you make of the internet. In this sense, what it is about is to avoid the concurrence of many connected users to avoid saturation and it is best to follow the following tips:
- If it is not absolutely necessary, try to delay the download of documents (or films) to the so-called off-peak hours or hours of less traffic. Operators place them between 2 and 4 in the afternoon and early in the morning, between 1 and 8 in the morning.
- If possible, avoid sending heavy attachments and preferably, send the link of where they are hosted (if they are in the cloud) or use some compression tool previously.
- Instead of email, use collaborative tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to work. If possible, avoid video calls.
- Although it is tempting, given the memes that are circulating now, avoid sending bulk emails as much as possible.
- Operators recommend using the landline phone whenever possible and, lastly, they propose to use the internet for leisure during off-peak hours.
It has been precisely Vodafone that has just announced that it is committed, in all the countries in which it is operational, to maintaining the quality of the service in a plan that will last until September 1 and that gives us an idea of what we have left still ahead. The good news, within all this catastrophe, is that the operators are prepared to maintain the service despite the brutal increase in network consumption.