Cairo on 20 April 2020
The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) issued a report that shows an increase in the indicators of the telecom services usage, taking into consideration the precautionary measures taken to battle coronavirus and the imposed curfew during March and April. This should be monitored in the light of the completion of educational studies by school and university students through distance learning system.
It is evident from the report that there is a significant increase in the usage of the internet and its applications during the curfew period and high traffic in the telecom networks and increased peak hours due to the subscribers’ stay for longer periods in their homes during curfew hours.
The comparison between telecom service indicators in the second week of the month of April and those in the second week of the month of March has indicated the following:
- An increase in international voice calls by 15%.
- An increase in local voice calls by 3%.
- An increase in home internet usage by 87%.
- An increase in mobile internet usage by 18%.
The number of peak hours for the usage of Internet services and applications doubled to 15 hours per day, that is, from 12 pm to 3 am during the second week of April compared to only 7 hours during the second week of March.
The increase in the internet usage can be summed up as follows:
- An increase in the percentage of Web Browsing by 131%.
- The significant increase in the usage of Internet applications and the increased rates of their usage, most importantly, the following:
- Tik Tok application (the destination for short-form videos that is preferred by mobile users): the rate of Tik Tok usage increased by 194%.
- Games: the rate of online game applications usage on the Internet increased by 96%.
- Netflix (the global platform for watching movies): the rate of its usage increased by 69%.
- Youtube (an online platform for free video-sharing and watching): the rate of Youtube usage increased by 41%.
- Shahid (an Arabic platform that provides VOD service that offers the best documentaries, movies and series in the Middle East region): the application usage increased by 40%.
- The applications of social networking sites:
- Facebook: its usage rate increased by 151%.
- Instagram: its usage rate increased by 59%.
- WhatsApp: its usage rate increased by 34%.
In addition, the rate of browsing the educational sites of the Ministry of Education and Technical Education, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research increased to reach 376.4% in the second week of April compared to the browsing rate in the second week of March.
The NTRA has emphasized that it has been coordinating closely with the four operators to follow up on and monitor the increases in the telecom service usage indicators on a daily basis and handle any contingent increases in a way that does not affect the quality of services provided to citizens.
It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) launched a number of initiatives to boost the distance learning system, in coordination with the NTRA and the four operators providing telecom services in Egypt and in close collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Higher Education. It should be noted also that the monthly download capacities were increased by 20% for home internet subscriptions (individuals) at a cost of 200 million Egyptian pounds. Moreover, individuals were provided with free access to the websites of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The MCIT agreed also with the four operators to provide free digital platforms to host scientific materials and lectures for school and university students. Furthermore, incentive offers were provided to citizens by giving as they will receive 30 times the charged balance as free minutes or units when using e-payment methods.