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Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Egypt's home internet usage up 99% since start of coronavirus lockdown

Ahram Online , Monday 25 May 2020
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A student takes class online using a mobile app at home in Cairo (photo: Reuters)
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As Egyptians have been under partial lockdown since March and schools and university students have since relied on E-learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, the usage of telecommunication services and internet consumption saw a heavy increase in May, Egypt's National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) said.

The NTRA attributed the high traffic to the considerable increase in the online streaming of TV shows during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

According to the NTRA's monthly report, international voice calls increased by four percent during Ramadan and 19 percent since the beginning of curfew in Egypt last March.

Local voice calls decreased by 1 percent during Ramadan and 7 percent since March.

The report recorded an increase in home internet usage by 12 percent during Ramadan, raising the usage rate since March to 99 percent.

The mobile internet usage rose by 17 percent last month, bringing the total increase since March to 35 percent.

According to the NTRA report, the usage of video applications such as TikTok, YouTube, Telegram and Zoom witnessed growth by 24, 115, 1,100 and 3,456 percent, respectively.

The usage of Shahid, an Arabic video-on-demand service in the Middle East, increased by 157 percent.

The usage of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapshot has increased by 44, 12, 27 and 67 percent, respectively.

The rate of online game applications increased by 75 percent.

The rate of browsing the websites of the ministries education, technical education and higher education and scientific research saw a surge of 395 percent since March and 19 percent during the last month.

The curfew was first introduced in March as part of a series of measures to curtail the spread of the virus and has been extended two times since.
The curfew was initially set at 7pm, but it was later pushed back to 8pm, and then to 9pm at the beginning of Ramadan.

The country decided to prolong the lockdown hours during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, starting at 5pm, as part of its bid to curb the spread of the contagion during the religious holiday, which is typically associated with family gatherings and packed public places.

Starting 30 May, and for two weeks, the curfew will run from 8 pm to 6 am, as the country aims to gradually reopen more businesses and some venues including sporting clubs and restaurants from mid-June.

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