Nordic Capacity Outlook

By Dag Aanensen
May 18, 2020

The Covid-19 has radically changed the data traffic profile in the Nordics. During mid-March most Nordic countries required private, businesses and governments employees to work remotely from home. Schools shutdown and students were sent home to follow remote learning programs. This created an overnight need for increased data capacity and the industry responded to the challenge.

In Norway Telenor is the largest carrier with 80 per cent of all telecommunication data traffic.

During April, fixed mobile traffic increased by 43% during business hours.

Mobile data was up 20% with a peak during evening/night. Video meetings was up 350% and for fixed broadband the traffic was up 40% during business hours (which is normally 08-16 in Norway!) SMS messaging is running at 70% above normal usage, the traffic growth is mostly driven by sms messages from the Health Authorities and Municipalities to the country´s inhabitants.

The spread of Covid-19 virus created an overnight surge for global video conferencing.

Zoom experienced a dramatic increase in number of daily participants. Up from 10 mill in Dec 2019 to 300 Mill a day in March 2020. Zoom has shortly become a fast-rising market player in the Nordics, challenging the national carriers and OTT´s.

The OTT´s responded quickly and launched new services to meet the massive need for video conferencing. Facebook launched a new web video chat service “Messenger Rooms” for as many as 50 people, “WhatsApp” video calls for up to eight people and video calls on Facebook dating. Facebook video streaming service require enormous amounts of bandwidth capacity and create large amounts of datacentre-to-datacentre traffic. One single video stream is supported by hundreds of servers that simultaneously synchronise and compute with milliseconds precision to keep the video data stream open and live. By 2021 Cisco estimates that video streaming will make up 82% of all the internet traffic. When you add the 50 billion IoT devices projected to come online by 2021 the need for zettabytes capacity will increase tenfold by 2025. After the world has overcome the Covid-19 and the society slowly opens up again the question is if the data traffic will continue to grow or return back to normal levels.

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 112 of the SubTel Forum Magazine on page 43 or on our archive site here.