Hanoi (VNA) – Since the COVID-19 broke out, Internet service demands for online entertainment, studying and working activities have surged, requiring suppliers to give timely solutions to ensure the quality of network and support users.

A rise of up to 90 percent

Statistics from the Authority of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), traffic through the national Internet exchange has risen 40 percent recently. In quarantine areas, the traffic in March rocketed by 90 percent compared to that in February, mostly from online conferences, classes, and entertainment apps.

Some users said that Internet quality for remote working was sometimes unstable, mostly during online meetings and classes with a high number of participants.

Explaining the situation, experts held that Internet connection in agencies and businesses is stronger due to more expensive service packages than those in households, while the Internet supplying system for companies is also more costly and modern. While working at home with PC, many users are not aware that their computers have been attacked by viruses that may use Internet and the resource system for other purposes, thus slowing down connection speed.

Besides, in areas with high population density, many wifi systemsare installed near each other, causing overlapping and signal interference. Alongside, due to social distancing policy, many people stay at home and use the Internet at the same time, resulting in slow connections.

Telecom service suppliers work hard to meet surging demands hinh anh 1Illustrative image

Vu Hoang Lien, Chairman of the Vietnam Internet Association, said that the hike in the number of Internet users requires great efforts from telecommunications businesses.

Lien advised users to form an effective Internet using habit to avoid wastefulness. They should not open many websites and apps at the same time, he said.

Meanwhile, users should be careful to ensure information safety online, while regularly giving feedback on the connection quality to suppliers for better services.

How do suppliers respond?

On March 31, the MIC issued a dispatch asking Internet service suppliers to ensure telecommunication services as part of efforts to prevent and fight COVID-19.

Recently, on April 1, the ministry convened a meeting with telecommunications businesses to launch a number of programmes to help people overcome difficult time due to the pandemic.

Telecommunications firms were asked to ensure service quality and increase the minimum speed for many service packages by 50 percent without hiking the price, while raising the data using capacity of many packages by 50 percent without fee rise. Besides, the firms are expected to launch various promotion programmes targetingdifferent groups of customers.

At the meeting, the suppliers committed to serving the community and businesses in the best manner during the pandemic time. They also agreed with the solutions given by the ministry.

They proposed that the Authority of Telecommunications give specific guidelines on the increase of data capacity of many packages by 50 percent, thus creating unity among suppliers.

MIC Deputy Minister Phan Tam directed the authority to work with the suppliers right after the meeting to seek suitable solutions, thus ensuring the best data quality.

To Dung Thai, Deputy General Director of VNPT, said that the company will enhance the Internet band to at least 50Mb, while doubling the speed of its Internet connections for Home Combo packages from 50Mbps to 100Mbps and even 150Mbps without changing the prices.

Rise in data will go along with preferential calling fees, thus meeting people’s demand for connections for working, studying and entertainment, he said.

Also from April 1, 2020, VinaPhone will apply zero fee packages to all subscribers engaging in pandemic prevention and control activities and those in quarantine areas. They will monthly receive 1,500 minutes of intra-network call and 50 minutes of inter-network call, along with 60GB of high-speed data. The programme will end when Vietnam announces the termination of the pandemic.

VinaPhone representatives will contact hospitals and health care centres and steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control to offer the package. The supplier will also increase its Internet stations by 18 percent and core capacity by 35 percent.

Telecom service suppliers work hard to meet surging demands hinh anh 2Telecommunications service suppliers commit to ensuring Internet connection quality (Illustrative image)

Tao DucThang, Deputy General Director of Viettel Group, said that right from the beginning, the group has accompanied the steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control to seek solutions to fight the pandemic.

Viettel has raised the bandwidth from 1.5-2 times, while increasing the capacity of its 4G stations. Viettel will also present additional data to users by up to 50 percent, he said.

The group has also offered preferential calling and data to people in quarantine areas, along with numerous measures to support customers.

Specifically, it has upgraded resources and infrastructure in 178 quarantine areas in 54 provinces and cities, while running mobile Internet stations and preparing forces for network supervision.

For its part, MobiFone is about to introduce C120 packages with many promotions for subscribers who are working in the front line of the coronavirus fight. It will add more data to its service packages for mobile service users. The scheme is expected to be launched in several coming days./.