Internet consumption has increased by 700% since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown period
Reinforcement at the points of the network with the heaviest traffic enables us to cope with the exponential increase in data consumption via fibre-optic without any problems
Since measures to contain the COVID-19 virus were introduced, Andorra Telecom's Internet network has absorbed the spectacular increase in traffic without any difficulty. So between last Friday, when the schools closed, and this Wednesday, Internet traffic grew by 700% compared to the same period last year, an increase attributable to higher leisure consumption and to remote working due to the lockdown. Total consumption over these six days was 5.8 million GB.
"We have a network that has sufficient capacity not only to cover the usual needs, but also for situations involving an exceptional increase in traffic. Investment made in internet and mobile phone infrastructure over the last three years enables us to remain calm when operators in other European countries are already beginning to ask users and providers of streaming content to reduce traffic”, said Managing Director of Andorra Telecom, Jordi Nadal.
Nadal said that the company's technical department is constantly monitoring the network in order to strengthen those points with the maximum activity that "correspond to the most populated areas of Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany".
Phone calls have skyrocketed over these days as well. The peak came last Friday, when, compared to the same day the previous week, there was an increase of 81% for landline traffic and 76% for mobile traffic. Overall growth during these six days was 33% for landlines and 43.6% for mobiles, although in recent days consumption has been returning to normal levels similar to those prior to the public health crisis.
In contrast, the use of the internet via mobile data has fallen by 32% since last Friday. "It’s entirely logical” - says Jordi Nadal - “that even when people are at home, when they’re browsing with their mobile devices, they use Wi-Fi”.
Higher TV consumption
Fibre-optic television has also grown significantly as a result of the lockdown. The time consumed during this period compared to the previous one has increased by 31%. This increase is important not only for conventional viewing time (up 34%) but also for those who follow via time-shifted programming, using the ‘return to start’ broadcast function (up 13%).
Public interest in news stories related to the coronavirus crisis is reflected in the fact that the Government's live briefings are the programmes with the highest viewing figures.
Digital channels - the primary means of contact with customers
Andorra Telecom's digital channels have also seen an increase in traffic since the beginning of the lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Thus, since last Friday, the number of visits to the app has increased by 11%, while visits to the website andorra.ad have also increased by 25%.
The special arrangement for the COVID-19 crisis has led to a rethink with regard to customer service systems. The sales agency is working on a restricted timetable from 9 am to 2 pm and is open only for connectivity-related issues: SIM card duplicates, new sign-ups (fibre optic, mobile and routers) and cancellations that involve returning equipment. Under the new protocol, the number of customers attended by the agency has fallen by 73%.
The customer section of the app, the commercial website and the 115 customer service line have become the preferred methods for users to contact us with their issues and enquiries.