Explosive traffic growth: St. Petersburg operators withstand double the load

For more than a month, most St. Petersburg residents have been spending their days at home. Some have switched to remote work, others are forced to wait for the epidemic to isolate themselves, toiling from idleness. But all have one thing in common – an acute need for home Internet.

Network Testing

St. Petersburg data transmission networks faced in the spring of 2020 with a serious test caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Citizens are forced to stay at home constantly, and the main entertainment (as well as a working tool) for the vast majority is the Internet. About how the city managed to withstand a sharp jump in the use of home Internet, told us Alexander Motrich, director of the macro-region of North-West JSC “ER-Telecom Holding” (it includes the well-known “Dom.ru” and “Dom.ru Business”) :

– On self-isolation, people have become much more likely to use video calling, watch online broadcasts and films. At the same time, many services opened up free access to their video content, and it is video that is the most “heavy” type of traffic. Not surprisingly, telecom operators experienced a massive increase in network load.

For example, the volume of daily traffic in our network in St. Petersburg by the end of March increased by an average of 30-35% compared to the middle of the month. In early April, traffic growth reached 40%, but then began to decline.

As noted by Alexander Motrich, a decrease in loads clearly correlates with a decrease in the self-isolation index in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. People who are tired of the four walls, increasingly violate the home mode and less use the home Internet.

“Therefore, we can assume that if tougher measures are introduced in the city, such as those in Moscow, traffic will jump up again,” the expert said.

However, Petersburg is not alone in such trends. The situation in our city coincides with the federal one: the overall traffic growth in ER-Telecom networks across the country amounted to 35-40%. Mostly, growth was provided by streaming and entertainment services, digital television, social networks and instant messengers. Mobile traffic increased by 10-30%, depending on the region.

Contactless connectivity and home appliance issues

The network load has also increased due to the influx of new customers. Before self-isolation, many generally dispensed with home Internet, limiting themselves to mobile. Now these people also needed a stable and fast connection. But the new reality dictates its requirements: the company had to urgently come up with new ways to work with customers.

“Many wanted to receive a service, but did not want to break self-isolation and let the company employees into the house,” explained Alexander Motrich. – To solve this problem, we quickly tested and implemented a contactless connection method, in which the client and the employee do not need to interact directly.

When Petersburg only went into self-isolation, many predicted network congestion and an increase in the number of accidents. But this, fortunately, did not happen, the expert noted:

– Speaking of our network, it turned out to be well prepared for the test by traffic, since last year we upgraded our infrastructure by launching high-speed tariffs of 300-600 Mbit / s.

But far from always connection problems, interruptions and other difficulties are associated with network congestion. Sometimes a source of trouble can be in your home.

“I’ll share my advice: very often the cause of Internet problems in an apartment is an outdated or low-power Wi-Fi router,” said Alexander Motrich. “Especially when several devices are working simultaneously at full power in a house.” Most of them operate in the same radio frequency range, which is overloaded. In order not to worry about communication, it is worth checking the router. Does it support the speed of the tariff plan, does it work in two bands? If necessary, it is better to update it.

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