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Texting, Streaming and Social Media Usage Up 40% As Kenyans Stay Home

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Telecom company, Safaricom PLC, reported a traffic surge by 40% as subscribers staying at home, resort to the use of social media, movie streaming as well as working from home. According to the firm’s CEO, Peter Ndegwa,  this has resulted in 2.34 Petabytes of data via mobile and fixed home internet carried daily, which translates to five million hours of continuous viewing. In short, it is a lot!

“This trend has been recorded not just on mobile data, but also on home fibre whose peak throughput of mobile data is now more than 150 gigabits per second (Gbps), whereas home fibre traffic has been hitting 200Gbps at its busiest times,” said Mr Ndegwa who took over office on April 1.

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Netflix has, of course, taken a huge chunk with a fourfold data rise all the way to 60 Gbps. This enables users across the country to simultaneously stream 20,000 movies.

The report went on saying that users relying on Safaricom data bundles to access Facebook have also peaked to 100Gbps with over 100,000 active users streaming Facebook Live at a time.

“We have taken measures to not only facilitate these digital connections between customers and the rest of the world but are also introducing additional measures to maintain them in these times of coronavirus,” Mr Ndegwa added. According to Safaricom, this investment involves a powerful video enhancement capability. This is to ensure multiple users can continue to watch content at the best quality and get the smoothest viewing experience.

This action comes after multiple reports of a strain on the global internet bandwidth that seemed to catch up with Safaricom home fibre users last week. But the company has been at the forefront of providing good services, proven by last moth’s decision to double internet speeds for its home fibre customers at half the price.

Similarly though, text messages have also seen a huge shoot by 70% in recent days peaking at 350Gbps. This can be expected as people continue to communicate with family and friends daily and more so now when they cannot meet.

Currently, Kenya has the highest share of internet usage from mobile phones in Africa. 39.2 million users have active data subscriptions accounting for 83%.

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