Monday, April 20, 2020

Pakistan's Internet Traffic Surge Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Internet traffic in Pakistan has surged 15% amid COVID-19 lockdown, according to Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). This spike has occurred in spite the fact that Netflix and YouTube have reduced their bandwidth requirements during the current health crisis. Netflix says it has cut its bandwidth use by 25% without sacrificing quality.  Google's YouTube video platform has decided to temporarily change the quality of all videos on YouTube to standard definition.The increased traffic is mainly due to people working from homes. Pakistan has nearly 80 million 
broadband subscribers as of now.


PTA:

In an announcement on March 26, 2019, PTA reported "net increase of around 15% in internet usage was witnessed since last week as the country fights against Coronavirus". PTA went on to assure users that "there is sufficient internet capacity available in the country to meet the growing demands of the future". This surge in Internet traffic has occurred in spite of Netflix and YouTube cutting their bandwidth requirements.

Netflix:

Netflix notified PTA in March that "it has developed ways to reduce Netflix’s traffic on telecommunications networks by 25% while also maintaining the quality of service" during the COVID19 pandemic. This action is aimed at reducing stress on the network as people are forced to work from home.

Pakistan Telecom Indicators As Of December 31, 2019

Google/YouTube:

Google's YouTube video platform has decided to temporarily change the quality of all videos on YouTube to standard definition. In addition, Google has launched "Bolo" in Pakistan. It is a speech-based reading app in Urdu that uses machine learning to help children read aloud confidently, using their own voice. A free English app has also been introduced that includes fast and easy lessons on business, marketing, management, and more.

Google has added new features and resources to provide locally relevant information to Pakistani users. These include expansion of COVID-19 SOS Alerts and Knowledge Panels on Google Search, as well as YouTube Information Panels. These product features link to National Institute of Health (NIH), to provide locally relevant information to Pakistani citizens.

Google is also offering ad inventory to the Ministry of National Health Services so they can spotlight timely, helpful information. Google has also shared tips and resources for remote workers and students enabling them to improve their productivity. These include a new collection of distance learning solutions, training, and resources to help teachers and students stay connected.

Summary:

Pakistan has seen a 15% surge in Internet traffic since the coronavirus lockdown started forcing many people to work from home. This traffic spike has occurred in spite of bandwidth hogs like Netflix and YouTube cutting their bandwidth requirements. Pakistan has nearly 80 million subscribers.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Digitization in Pakistan

Can Pakistan Effectively Respond to COVID19 Pandemic?

Pakistani-American Woman Featured in Netflix Documentary "Pandemic"

Public Sector IT Projects in Pakistan

Pakistan's Gig Economy 4th Largest in the World

Afiniti and Careem: Tech Unicorns Made in Pakistan

Pakistani American Heads Silicon Valley's Top Incubator

Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans

Digital BRI and 5G in Pakistan

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

Pakistan EdTech and FinTech Startups

State Bank Targets Fully Digital Economy in Pakistan

Campaign of Fear Against CPEC

Fintech Revolution in Pakistan

E-Commerce in Pakistan

The Other 99% of the Pakistan Story

FMCG Boom in Pakistan

Belt Road Forum 2019

Fiber Network Growth in Pakistan

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel


1 comment:

Riaz Haq said...

How #COVID19 is fuelling the growth of the stay-at-home economy #StayHome
https://bit.ly/2Z1vEDr

https://twitter.com/wef/status/1264330401318875137?s=20


The COVID-19 pandemic is fuelling the growth of the stay-at-home economy.
E-commerce and grocery delivery services can test new concepts to better meet consumer needs for convenience and health and well-being.
The pandemic is likely to speed up adoption of video streaming and online education, and contribute to more inclusive access.
The coronavirus pandemic is fuelling the growth of the stay-at-home economy. How consumers learn, work, shop and play is poised to change forever.

Consumer preferences have been shifting toward e-commerce and online entertainment and education for over a decade. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has been a boon to companies that serve the stay-at-home economy, which are displaying agility by simultaneously experimenting with new ideas to build brand affinity.

Since mid-March, Amazon has hired 175,0000 workers in the United States to meet surging demand for online shopping. Instacart, an American technology company that provides same-day grocery delivery and pick-up service in the U.S. and Canada, stated that their weekly sales jumped 10-fold, and 20 times higher in California and Washington State, where the virus was widespread early in the pandemic. The company is also leveraging the heightened interest in grocery delivery to test new, innovative concepts to better meet consumer needs for convenience and their health and well-being, such as the option to have groceries left at a customer’s doorstep at a designated time in lieu of hand delivery.

Concurrently, according to online restaurant reservation service OpenTable, on-site dining dropped 42% compared with a year ago.

Video streaming has been on the rise for over a decade, but last year, the number of streaming subscribers around the world (613 million) surpassed the number of cable subscribers (556 million), according to the Motion Picture Association of America. With city governments asking citizens to shelter in place, new streaming subscription services are seeing growth. Disney+, for example, has had a 75% rise in subscribers since early February and passed 50 million paying subscribers in its first five months.

In the meantime, in China, during a 20-day period commencing on the eve of the Lunar New Year, box office revenues fell to $3.9 million from $1.5 billion in 2019. While it is uncertain when consumers will return to movie theatres, it is quite certain that stay-at-home entertainment will continue to break new ground for growth and market size as consumers around the globe continue to isolate at home.

Amid the coronavirus crisis, Zoom Video is leading the charge towards virtual work-from-home practices and poised to accelerate a seismic shift in how work gets done. In the early days of the pandemic, Zoom’s stock increased 58% through 13 March, whereas the S&P 500 was down 16% in the same time period. While some US states and countries are beginning to open up, large cohorts of employees continue working from home. They are also gaining exposure to new digital engagement capabilities that can be leveraged to host both small and large meetings such as interactive workshops, hence eliminating the need for travel.

Furthermore, we are seeing the rapid transition to online education across all levels – primary school and high school to the university level. Digital technologies are reshaping the world of education in ways previously unimagined for a historically change-resistant institution. Plato once said that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Perhaps now, education will change as fast as technology and contribute to inclusive societies with unprecedented access to knowledge and prosperity.