Both fixed and mobile telecommunications networks are experiencing a traffic explosion in recent days as a result of the expansion of the Covid-19 and the measures and recommendations derived from it.
In general terms, traffic through IP networks has experienced increases of nearly 40% while mobile use has increased by about 50% in voice and 25% in data. Likewise, traffic from instant messaging tools such as Whatsapp has increased fivefold in recent days.
The increased use of teleworking has also been reflected in the network: the traffic of remote work tools such as Skype and Webex has increased fourfold.
The network operators – Movistar, Orange, Vodafone, Grupo Masmovil and Grupo Euskaltel- have critical equipment watching over the network 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are taking measures to reinforce their networks similar to those implemented, for example, in coastal areas in summer.
These include measures of geographical redundancy for the centres from which the services are managed, diversification of technical means or operational plans for diverting activity to provide services from other locations or remotely.
Operators are doing everything possible to increase the capacity of the networks by putting more equipment into service and increasing the capacity of existing equipment, but these measures are not immediately effective.
Therefore, in order to guarantee the quality of service and excellent connectivity that is necessary, all these improvements must be accompanied, especially now, in the new situation of isolation throughout the country, by a smart and responsible use of the network and the resources it provides.
For this reason and together, we, the operators, would like to share with our customers some recommendations:
Only download the documents or files that you really need, and if they can wait, do it at night or in the “off-peak hours” with less traffic (between two and four in the afternoon and between eight in the evening and eight in the morning).
Whenever possible, do not send heavy files -videos, presentations…-. Send links or routes to where they are stored. And, if it is essential to send them, compress them first or give them a format that weighs less (from ppt to pdf, for example).
Use collaboration tools like Teams or Slack, and if you can, don’t always do it with video.
Avoid massive e-mails.
Use your landline phone instead of your mobile phone to make calls when possible.
And, above all, optimise the traffic for what you really need: email, remote work, conferences, school and education applications, access to information… reserve leisure tools, video games, streaming, live video playback for the off-peak hours.
Spain is the first European country and the third in the world in terms of fibre optic infrastructure and has one of the best mobile networks in Europe.
It is precisely this network, built with the effort of the operators, that is allowing the optimal functioning of digital communications, thus making the isolation more bearable in the professional and also in the personal.
Rational and responsible use of the networks will allow all of us, service providers, companies and individuals, to ensure that we have quality communication that is sustainable over time, in the face of a scenario of increased work and remote schooling that may last several weeks.