COAI urges subscribers to use data networks responsibly to free up infra for critical services

NEW DELHI: With the government imposing 21-day lockdown
to tackle coronavirus spread, industry body
COAI on Wednesday urged mobile consumers
responsibly, so that
services can run smoothly on communications infrastructure.

COAI‘s appeal
to public comes at a time when
data usage has surged nearly 30 per cent over the last few days in the wake of lockdowns, work-from-home and social distancing measures adopted
to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown
for 21 days in an unprecedented move
to halt the spread of the pandemic.

Soon after the announcement, the Centre said all road, rail and air
services will remain suspended during this period.

COVID-19 has claimed 9 lives in the country and over 550 persons being affected by the viral infection. Fears are also mounting that more could be hit as the global coronavirus toll inches towards 17,000.

“We are asking people
for responsible usage of network…
to avoid any trivial
use of internet and
networks…so that remote working, online education, digital healthcare, payments and other
services, can run smoothly and uninterrupted,” Cellular Operators” Association of India (
COAI) Director General, Rajan Mathews said.

Mobile users can also do their bit by choosing
to time their some of their online activities during off-peak hours, say early morning or late evening, he said.

Mathews said there has been a 20-30 per cent increase in
data demand just in the last few days, as states and Union Territories imposed lockdowns, and took measures
to encourage social distancing and Work From Home
to check the spread of coronavirus.

It is pertinent
to mention here that video streaming platforms like Netflix and social networking giant Facebook are reducing bit rates
for videos on their platforms as part of their efforts
to help mitigate mobile and broadband network congestion.

Netflix said it will reduce traffic on telecommunications
networks by 25 per cent while maintaining the quality of service
for users in India.

Facebook said it will temporarily reduce bit rates
for videos on its platform and Instagram in India.

Companies like Amazon Prime Video are also temporarily lowering bit rates – a measure of how much
data is being transferred –
to ease pressure on telecom network infrastructure.

The move by the these firms came after
COAI wrote
to the government urging issuance of instructions
to streaming platforms
to initiate measures that will ease the burden on network infrastructure, which is needed
critical” functions at this juncture.

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Written by sortiwa

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