Social distancing Kenyans troop online

As more people are working and learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand on data network is surging as families stay indoors

16 Apr 2020 . 1,174 Views

With many people staying indoors at home as a measure to contain the spread of Coronavirus and flatten the curve of its progression, smart phones and other devices have been a welcome distraction.

It shows in the changing trends with regard to consumption of data on the Safaricom network in recent days. Following the advent of the pandemic, traffic on the network has increased by about 40 per cent, with more people staying at home and having to rely on the network to stay connected.

This trend has been recorded not just on mobile data but also Home Fibre. The peak throughput of mobile data is now more than 150Gbps (Gbps, short for Gigabits per second, represents one billion bits running through the system in a second), whereas Home Fibre traffic has been hitting 200Gbps at its busiest times.

Combined, the data carried on a daily basis by mobile and fixed home is in the 2.34 Petabytes (One Petabyte is a million Gigabytes) region. If all this was to be spent on watching content on YouTube, it would translate into 5 Million hours of continuous viewing.

In terms of what Kenyans are doing online, traffic on Netflix has grown fourfold, to 60 Gbps. This is able to simultaneously stream 20,000 movies at the same time.

Facebook, on the other hand, is peaking at 100Gbps. With this, up to 100,000 users could go onto Facebook Live to give their friends an idea of how they are social distancing.

Our network is powered by powerful video enhancement capability that ensures these multiple use cases are supported at the best watch quality and delivering smooth viewing experience.

It is not just the internet that Kenyans are spending time on when on their devices. The number of SMS sent has gone up by 70 percent in recent days and current peak traffic speeds stand at 350 Gbps.

With more people spending time online, Safaricom has taken deliberate measures to not only facilitate these digital connections between customers and the rest of the world, but also introducing additional measures to maintain them in these times of Coronavirus.

Efforts are being made to deliver a quality experience on the fixed internet bandwidth in order to facilitate individuals to work from home.

Learners are also enjoying free access to educational content on mobile internet whereas university students get concessional rates to facilitate continuous virtual learning in collaboration with learning institutions.

This complex and fast network is kept running by engineers, technicians and programmers who work around the clock to operate, maintain and upgrade it.



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