One of the questions that arose when the country began the strict quarantine due to the covid-19 pandemic, leading to thousands of people staying in their homes and carrying out virtual work and education from there, was how it would support the country’s connectivity this increase in internet demand.
During these months, the different telecommunications operators in Colombia have seen a very high increase in traffic in this sector , especially in fixed connections, due to the new dynamics.
Precisely, the three companies that lead the fixed internet service in the country, which, according to the connectivity report of the ICT Ministry, are Claro, with 2.88 million accesses; UNE EPM, with 1.59 million, and Movistar, with 1.18 million, reported increases in consumption of more than 66 percent.
In the case of Claro, between the months of January and August of this year there was a total increase in Internet service traffic in homes corresponding to 82 percent. ” The expansion of the network capacity allowed Colombia to stay connected in quarantine, ” said Felipe Villa, Claro’s Marketing Director, referring to the work carried out by the company to meet the high demand and maintain stable connections during peak hours.
Tigo, on the other hand, registered an increase of 66 percent of the fixed connections of the internet service. Likewise, the company registered an increase of 8 percent more users compared to the data for the same period in 2019.
“If before we had a high-use time slot between 8 and 11 pm, currently, with work and home schooling, that slot was expanded, starting at 8 am,” says the company. On the other hand, Movistar indicated that in the first 10 months of 2020 the fixed internet was the one that registered the greatest increase, reaching an accumulated 75 percent more demand from users.
“This is due to the fact that all the people who were previously in their offices or schools traveled to their homes , so that, mainly, the fixed internet was the one that gave them the opportunity to continue working or studying,” explained Néstor Barrios, Director of Quality and Regulatory Reports of Telefónica Movistar.
In the case of mobile data, the increase registered from the company in this period was 30 percent. Barrios added that the 50 mega fiber optic plan has been one of the plans most consumed by Movistar clients during the months of the pandemic.
The different telecommunications operators in Colombia have seen a very high increase in traffic in this sector, especially in fixed connections, due to the new dynamics
In order to adapt to new consumer demands, companies have had to increase investment in infrastructure and make various changes to support connections.
In this regard, Claro said that one of the company’s approaches was to expand the fiber optic service in order to provide higher download and upload speeds . In this case, the company indicated, the service was extended to 19 cities in the country.
“We invest to keep Colombians connected, and we design new solutions and services tailored to their new consumer expectations,” Villa explained.
Likewise, in the case of fixed internet, in order to meet demand, extensions and additional capabilities were made on the pages in which the highest user consumption was reported, such as the Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Netflix platforms.
Tigo also pointed out that they have assumed greater investments to meet the growing demand, which corresponds to about 1 trillion pesos and is also related to the deployment of investment in the 700 MHz band and the expansion of the fixed network.