COVID effects on mobile networks: Telenor publishes data, why can’t others?


Posted by Rohan Samarajiva on May 3, 2020  /  0 Comments

Why wait for the regulator to ask? It seems like common sense for telecom network operators to voluntarily publish data on network usage like the Myanmar operators do. It will help beat back stupid ideas about free data or uncapped packages.

Also, mobile operators know how many smartphones are on their network and even what kinds of smartphones they are. People such as teachers and education officials who are planning to deliver content over these devices need this information. I cannot understand what competitive advantage is lost by disclosing this.

Here is what one Myanmar operator publishes voluntarily:

Telenor Myanmar reports that internet usage in its network has increased by 27 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 1 March and 19 April, Telenor’s network report showed a significant growth in video conferencing in Myanmar, with Zoom (1,373%), Skype (245%) and Google Hangouts (25%) being the top 3 most popular applications. Content streaming traffic also jumped to more than 40 percent during the period, and was particularly high during the 10-day Thingyan holiday.
Streaming traffic growth was mainly driven by the use of applications such as Facebook (87%), Netflix (48%), TikTok (36%) and YouTube (17%). Aside from VoIP calls, there was also a surge in the use of social network service and instant messaging, the operator said.

Telenor carried 5.5 million SMS in the period between 1 March and 19 April, which represents a 2.9 percent increase.

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