"The Period from 3rd Week of May Compared to 3rd Week of April"
The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) issued its "Telecom Service Usage Indicators Report" for the month of Ramadan. It is evident from the report that there is a continuing increase in the usage of the internet and high traffic in the telecom networks in addition to the increase in the peak hours during the month of Ramadan due to the subscribers' stay for long periods in their homes.
This comes in the light of the completion of the educational studies by school and university students through distance learning system, not to mention the significant increase in the usage of online entertainment applications for TV series, dramas and programs. The indicators highlighted the following:
International Voice Calls:
- A rise in the international voice calls by 4% during the month of Ramadan, as the the international calls increased by 19% since the start of the curfew period.
- A drop in the local voice calls by about 10% during the month of Ramadan, as these calls decreased by 7% since the start of the same period.
- A rise in home internet usage by 12% in the month of Ramadan, as the home internet usage increased by 99% since the start of the curfew period.
- A rise in mobile internet usage by 17%, as the mobile Internet usage increased by 35% since the start of the same period.
The number of peak hours for the usage of Internet services and applications dropped to 14 hours per day in the third week of May compared to 15 hours in the third week of April. The number of peak hours is still double the number of peak hours before the onset of Coronavirus pandemic, that is, "the second week of March".
The increase in the internet usage can be summed up as follows:
- An increase in the percentage of browsing of the educational sites of the Ministry of Education and Technical Education, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research amounting to 19 % during the month of Ramadan indicating a rise in the rate of educational website browsing by 395% since the start of the curfew period.
- An increase in the rate of entertainment and movie streaming applications usage, amounting to 292% during the month of Ramadan, as the rate of the applications usage rose to 315% since the start of the curfew period.
- The significant increase in the rate of online applications usage during the month of Ramadan as follows:
- Zoom (a free web and video conferencing and calls software): the rate of its usage increased by 3456%.
Telegram a cloud-based messaging application through which users can exchange messages including pictures, videos and documents): its usage increased by 1100%.
- Shahid (an Arabic platform that provides VOD service that offers documentaries, movies and series): the application usage increased by 157%.
- Games: the rate of online game applications usage on the Internet increased by 75%.
- Tik Tok application (the destination for short-form videos provided to mobile users): the rate of Tik Tok usage increased by 24 %.
- Youtube (an online platform for free video-sharing and watching): the rate of Youtube usage increased by 115%.
- The applications of social networking sites:
- Snapchat: its usage rate increased by 67%;
- WhatsApp: its usage rate increased by 27%
- Facebook: its usage rate increased by by 44%;
- Instagram: its usage rate increased by by 12%;
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.