The coronavirus has had a castling spell on all. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it as a pandemic. The main effect of this virus outbreak is that the streets, restaurants, hotels, pubs, malls, stores, etc., all wear a deserted look. The COVID-19, the official name for the coronavirus, has spread quickly to more than 150 countries in the world. The governments of many of these nations have asked the people to stay at home and do not venture out unless for any medical help or for essential.
Work from Home Is the New Mantra
The coronavirus spread has meant that the government has asked the companies to carry out their office jobs from their homes. With the increase in the number of people functioning from home, there is a huge surge in the number of people using the internet. The mobile networks in the United Kingdom are sometimes facing outages due to excessive use. The coronavirus pandemic has made millions of British citizens carry out their office-related jobs from their homes. This is done to minimise the exposure of the people to the unknown COVID-19 virus.
Many companies are instructing their employees to do all their official duties from their homes. This has led to a serious increase in internet usage of popular mobile providers. The British mobile services are suffering from voice call outages as many have started to do office jobs from home.
All Popular Services Are Facing Outages
There is a huge demand to put on mobile services with more and more people operating from their homes. Vodafone, one of the leading mobile service providers in the UK, said that it has seen a surge of 30% in the internet usage in its network for both the mobile and the fixed-line services. TalkTalk is an internet service provider in the United Kingdom. It has gone on record to say that the company has seen an increase in internet traffic during the daytime of about 20% for the first fortnight of March 2020. O2, EE, and Three have also said that their customers are facing outages at times due to over usage of internet services. The result of this massive internet usage is that some of the customers were not able to make important phone calls.
The mobile phone companies have said that they are working on it and are looking at ways and means to prevent this issue from repeating. There is no doubt that frequent disruptions in voice calls or internet outages are a big challenge that mobile service providers have to deal with. But, with millions and millions now doing their office jobs from home and with schools and colleges closed, there is going to be more surges in internet usage.
There is a general feeling among the British public bodies that this coronavirus outbreak is here to last and will not subside in a couple of weeks. It is expected to last for a few months. If social distancing is not followed strictly, it can spread very quickly. The Britons need to have self-restraining qualities and put themselves under home quarantine for 2 to 3 weeks to reduce the spread of this virus.
Online Gambling and Streaming Platforms Seeing Huge Usage
The Britons love to gamble and with restrictions on venturing out, many of them have returned to visiting the popular online casinos to try their luck gambling. There is a huge increase in the number of people visiting the UK licensed online gambling websites to play their favourite IGT, Microgaming and Konami free slots, as well as table games developed by well-known providers. The players trying out the high-quality 3D graphics titles will use more internet, and if they are playing these titles on their mobile phones, then there is a case for the internet services to get overloaded.
Like the casinos, there is a huge number of people watching movies, TV shows, etc., on the video streaming services. There is an unprecedented increase in the number of people accessing these streaming services during this lockdown period. There is a call from the European Union commissioner to downscale the quality of the content and switch to standard definition to prevent the mobile networks from getting overloaded. There is a request for the online TV services to relay their content in medium quality and not in ultra HD or HD of 1080p and more to reduce the burden on the already overflowing networks.
Extended Usage Hours
There is huge demand and use of video conferencing, webmail, and video chatting applications as people have started to work from their homes. The usage spikes in the form of data uploaded and downloaded are more or less the same before and after the coronavirus lockdown. The main difference that is seen is that the busy hours have changed. Now, it starts from lunchtime itself.
The big wigs in the mobile network business say that they have enough room and space to meet the growing demand and would do everything possible to keep the UK citizens connected through their networks. They are having a constant eye on the situation. They all in one voice say that there is considerable use of the bandwidth for downloading streamed television content and popular gambling and video games.
The most in-demand corporate app for video chatting is the Microsoft Teams, and this needs about 1 Mbps speed. The HD video streaming programs in 4K resolution would need an internet speed of 20 Mbps to 50 Mbps.
The network providers are gearing up to accommodate the soon to be launched Disney+ streaming service in the UK. Also, with schools closed, many children would like to learn online, and this could put a strain on the networks.
The mobile network companies are looking to optimize their network and services to meet the needs of both UK citizens and business customers. They are trying their best to run their services smoothly without any glitch. It would be an uphill task, if more and more people access the internet for entertainment, gaming, video conferencing, and binge-watching.
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