COVID19 has turned all eyes on how telecommunications networks are behaving, an attention that they did not have for a long time. Today, as home confinement is being adopted worldwide, more and more people are getting aware of how important connectivity is in their lives, for the contact with their beloved ones, for their jobs and for entertainment.
The dramatical increases of the traffic that telecommunications networks are dealing with, an approximately 50% to 70% overnight, is showing how well dimensioned these networks were, how strong the sector is, the enormous investments made by operators, and how responsible we are with our duty of connecting people.
In this scenario of pure network performance, it must be highlighted the leadership of the International Telecommunication Union that has just released REG4COVID; a new platform to “help governments and the private sector in ensuring that networks are kept resilient and telecommunication services are available to all.”
This platform collects all the action, initiatives, measures and best practices taken around the world by Governments, Regulators, Operators and Organizations to mitigate or to fix the impact because COVID-19 in telecommunication networks. It will make easy to keep stakeholders up to speed to what is going on in the telecommunication landscape and highlights how relevant the international collaboration is.
Telefonica considers that its mission is to make our world more human by connecting lives. This is why between 2012 and 2019 Telefonica’s investments (CapEx) have totalled €71 Billion and why we are today pretty well prepared. This effort continues as the permanent improvement of our network is part of Telefonica DNA.
But the effects of COVID19 goes beyond the network load. In Telefonica, we believe that this is one of those moments when companies must strive more than ever to act with values and responsibility in the service of society, and in addition of the huge investments made, Telefonica have announced temporary measures to help people in this hazardous time:
- Increasing monthly data allowances for mobile customers and the minimum bandwidth available once the allowance is spent.
- More content and channels in our payTV services and in our Movistar+ Lite app clients.
- Zero rating some collaborative tools for corporate clients to facilitate teleworking
- Zero rating governmental apps for Coronavirus
- Strengthening own educational online content aimed at teachers, parents and students.
Other institutions are also trying to help collecting and sharing best practices and initiatives to make the world aware of the situation:
- The OCDE has create a platform to help governments to identify measures that can be taken against COVID-19,
- The GSMA is tracking the impact on Global Internet performance and
- ETNO published a list of best practices adopted by European Operators.