In the times of the SARS-CoV-2 rule, people are enclosed in their houses and are trying to kill time until pandemic wanes. According to the current rate of new infections, the quarantine will last for a few weeks more, which is going to put a bit of pressure on operator networks and internet providers’ infrastructure. Many of us are gonna be Whatsapping a lot more, watching YouTube, Netflix, Popcorn and other services. Some will scroll the 9GAG till their elbows make a hole above knees. The right questions that people are asking now are can the current infrastructure take the load, and can we continue using the internet content in super sharp resolutions?.
Starting today, I’m also working from my home as many others are, and that will put some load on my internet provider. For now, I’m not seeing any problem, and two Beacons 3 are taking care of my home WiFi network quality.
Anyway, Nokia did a nice analysis and put it all on their blog. The analysis and a text were done by Dr. Craig Labovitz, co-founded Deepfield, that became a part of Nokia back in 2017. by analyzing the data of many western European networks, Labovitz noticed the sudden increase of traffic by 20 to 40%, and usually in the evenings. The problem here is that the networks are usually predicting a yearly growth of traffic by 30 to 40% and this internet traffic was a bit of a surprise. For now, the networks are meeting the demand but this kind of daily growth will be making a bit of stress on the operators.
There is also a substantial growth seen in latency-sensitive applications like teleconferencing (300% growth by using Skype and other apps), and 400% growth in gaming.
So far things are holding on and we can still enjoy fast internet. We can expect that YouTube and Netflix will lower the quality of the streaming content to lower the load on their servers when a lot of folks start watching things at the same time. On the other hand, some will cut the time by playing some old fashion games like Rummikub, Monopoly or bottle of truth and some other drinking games. My grandpa used to tell me stories from his young days when he went to war, and I’ll be telling to my grandchildren that there were times when the quality of streaming videos was lowered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.