March 20, 2020
The agreement of video streaming giants Netflix and YouTube to reduce streaming quality in Europe over the coronavirus crisis is not enough to prevent network overload, according to a director at data analytics company GlobalData.
Gaming services must also pitch in.
“Netflix and Alphabet have demonstrated superb industry leadership with this compromise and gesture, but online gaming service providers must now follow suit,” Emma Mohr-McClune, tech service director at GlobalData, said in a statement. “Although video streaming represents the lion’s share of residential Internet traffic in Europe, interactive online gaming is a substantially greater threat in network overload terms. Any mass market spike in activity will have significant consequences for vital government and functions for markets in COVID-19 lockdown mode.”
Modeling impending network use during the crisis is uncharted territory, she noted.
“We are anticipating significant network challenges as millions of families spend the next foreseeable weeks in lock-down mode,” she said in a statement. “Problematically, there is no forecast template for the situation in which we find ourselves today. The quantitative industry has always reckoned with network traffic management scenarios with standard peak/off-peak times based on the standard movement and school-attendance time profile of the average online gamer. The COVID-19 lock-down will throw all that to the wall.
“All European telcos are now putting capacity boost and traffic management processes into place, as a response to the ongoing crisis, but their efforts will be hampered without an honest dialogue between OTTs, state bodies and the network services industry.
“At the same time, consumers must heed the call of their service providers to exercise responsible usage of the Internet. Staying at home will be particularly taxing on the discipline and patience of millennials and the digital native generation. However, exactly this generation need to show their solidarity in terms of restraint.”