COVID-19 has presented many new challenges to the way we live and work. The mantra of “stay home” has been accepted by some of the world’s largest economies, creating a seismic shift in how we communicate and use the network. This has been backed up by the operators who have seen huge jumps in video and upstream traffic and an extension of the peak hours they are used to experiencing.
For RADCOM, as an international company, we are used to communicating virtually, but no one has been exempted, and COVID-19 has created a new paradigm for how we communicate and work. Our business continuity plans mean we have been able to deliver seamless support to our customers, while still adhering to guidelines, and putting the health and safety of our employees first.
In this blog, I want to explore some of my key observations on how the telecoms industry is navigating COVID-19, what it might mean for the future and how RADCOM is working to support them.
It is clear to see that the telecoms industry is playing a crucial role during this global pandemic. Video conferencing has been a lifeline for keeping businesses moving and keeping families in touch. Streaming services have provided us with entertainment when the working day is done. In addition, both fixed and mobile broadband networks have both helped maintain connectivity during these challenging times.
Vodafone said they had seen a 100% increase in video usage and a 50% increase in fixed broadband usage across their European networks. AT&T reported a 40% increase in mobile traffic and a 100% increase in Wi-Fi calling volumes. Peak times have extended from the traditional evening hours until 11 am, meaning the network is at peak capacity for a more significant portion of the day. In Italy, for example, we can see that download speeds have reduced as the traffic percentage has increased. All that being said, operators have stepped up to the challenge by increasing their bandwidth capacity to ensure their customers stay connected.
Operators have continued their progress with new network rollouts, including 5G, to ensure improved delivery of service in the era of social distancing. One such example of this was our client, Rakuten, who, on 8 April, successfully launched full-commercial services on the world’s first entirely cloud-native network. As the network is 5G-ready, they plan on rapidly rolling out 5G services this same year.
Being aware that our customers play a crucial role in keeping businesses and families in touch, RADCOM is also continually strengthening its assurance offering. Enabling operators to track and monitor changes in traffic patterns highlight where the operators need to focus their resources. Operators have a responsibility to ensure network performance is optimized, and service quality is maintained. They can achieve this by deploying a dynamic and smart service assurance solution with proactive alarms and anomaly detection capabilities. Alarms can be triggered whenever service degradations occur or when the bandwidth is close to reaching capacity.
Our services have also been able to help in the fight against COVID-19. RADCOM has been working with partners on assuring specific areas of their network dedicated to first responders and mission-critical services. Ensuring that they can communicate smoothly even when the network is close to capacity can, quite literally, be a matter of life and death and makes our work all the more meaningful.
Over the course of this pandemic, we have reiterated that RADCOM is a committed partner to its customers by closely supporting them in challenging times whenever we were needed. For RADCOM, the health and safety of our staff is of the highest priority. We have a strong team culture, which means we have been able to weather this storm even though we are physically separated. RADCOM’s commitment to supporting its customers is derived from the same support network which exists within the company. It is this exceptional working environment that has been a crucial element in driving success during these times.
RADCOM has supported its customers in continual network developments and the drive towards 5G. It can also be seen through ongoing work to ensure the best customer and service experience is delivered so that businesses keep working and loved ones can stay in touch. Finally, we can see it through the support being given to the mission-critical services and first responders, where we can assure the highest level of service.
Operators have been given a new spotlight during COVID-19 with our reliance on them being more significant than ever. Together with the operators, we as a service assurance provider have strengthened our relationships as a true partner with our customers, and we stand together with the same aim, to deliver the highest possible level of customer and service experience.
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