Internet consumption has increased significantly since the lockdown began in the country. The service providers have complained that despite the increase in internet bandwidth, fixed-line internet consumption from mobile data, the revenue from it has not increased.
According to the internet service provider, the consumer’s pressure during the lockdown and the use of the internet for a long time has increased the consumption as compared to the past. Since the lockdown began, many companies have said they are managing “traffic” by increasing international bandwidth.
“International bandwidth has increased by 20% since the lockdown began,” said Bhojraj Bhatta, president of the Nepal Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA). Bhatta, who is also the operator of Netmax Internet, said that the load has been increased by increasing the international bandwidth as the ‘traffic’ of internet consumption has increased after the lockdown.
“Traffic management has been very difficult for the first few days of the lockdown,” Bhatta said. Vinay Bohara, former president of Spain and managing director of Vinet, said most internet service providers have increased international and local bandwidth.
Vinet said that the previous cellulite bandwidth is being used now. “I had to stop selling wholesale bandwidth,” Bohora said. “I’m using it.”
He says that 100% of local bandwidth is being used during the lockdown. Local bandwidth is also accumulated within the country. The bandwidth of Google, Facebook, Netflix is local. They keep the bandwidth casin.
Nepal Telecom has stated that it is managing the increased traffic using local bandwidth. According to Dilli Adhikari, managing director of Nepal Telecom, bandwidth usage has increased by 15% while mobile data usage has increased by 30%.
He said that the use of cache servers like Google, Facebook, Netflix and folk bandwidth has increased.
After the lockdown, the trend of using the internet has changed a bit. The home internet was mostly used only in the evening. After the lockdown, this trend has changed. Now home internet is also being used in the morning, afternoon and evening. Online classes are being conducted.
Consumers are using it from morning to evening. Various activities are also taking place through home internet. Work from home, study from home, zoom meeting, zoom conference, watching YouTube and Netflix. Social media has become a major medium of communication.
On the other hand, the Internet used in offices and businesses is not working. Bohara said that the consumers could not collect the fee due to lack of commercial internet consumption. He said that some customers even asked to cut the line to use such internet.
“The money used for the internet now is not going to go up,” Bohara said. The service provider says that it is becoming difficult to charge for domestic use
How did the Revenue decrease?
Although internet consumption is increasing due to consumer pressure, service providers say that the income is not enough.
“Internet consumption has increased, but revenue has fallen further,” Bohra said. “There is no need to think that consumption has increased.” Our income has dropped by 50%. ‘
According to the service provider, there are three main reasons for the non-increase in income.
The first reason is not being able to add new customers. The main source of income for internet service providers is adding new customers. According to Bohara, adding new customers earns 30%.
No company has been able to add new customers in the country. “Revenue from new customers has dropped by 30%,” Bohara said. “Marketing and networking have not been done.”
Second, existing customers are declining. Due to the lockdown, commercial customers have not used the internet for more than a month and a half. Bohara said that such people doing small businesses have started asking to cut the internet line.
Similarly, a large group of students living in big cities like Kathmandu has gone to the villages. The group, which has an internet connection in the city, has started cutting the line instead of paying for two months of the internet free of cost.
According to service providers, another reason for the decline in revenue is the increase in domestic internet consumption but the decline in business.
Home internet is cheaper and commercial internet is more expensive and more expensive. This means that the most popular internet now is home. The fee is low but the consumption is high.
“The main source of our business is from business and the office,” said Bohara. Now, if the household runs all day, the business is closed in the office. ‘
He says that balance has been upset. He complains that he has to pay for bandwidth due to high internet consumption but his income has not increased.
The future of the Internet
The long lockdown has not only increased Internet usage, but it has also seen some new activity.
Work from home, virtual meetings and online classes are being conducted which are not used much by Nepali consumers. Bohara said that if Nepali consumers become accustomed to these activities, office and business activities can be done using the internet in the future as well.
“Work from home seems to be going on until the coronavirus vaccine is discovered,” Bohra said. “Social distance has to be maintained.”
He said that the number of home users will increase if the tradition of doing office and business work from home is continued.
Bohara said that many people now know that the best part of the service is the internet.
On the other hand, Bohra understands that due to the economic downturn caused by the lockdown, internet consumption along with other businesses may also decrease.