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How has COVID-19 Affected Internet Usage in Egypt?

How has COVID-19 Affected Internet Usage in Egypt?

The Egyptian National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has released the latest internet usage statistics. The study focused on the period between the second week of March to the second week of April. During this period, Egypt took precautionary measures to battle COVID-19 such as a nationwide curfew, school and university closures, and an increased number of self-quarantined citizens. 

Internet and Peak Times Soared 

The report shows a significant increase in overall internet usage, with home internet increasing by 87% and mobile internet by 18%. Most notably in the report, the number of peak hours for the Internet services and applications doubled to 15 hours per day, that is, from 12 pm to 3 am during the second week of April, compared to only 7 hours during the second week of March. While web browsing saw an increase of 131%, mobile applications still came out on top. 

TikTok Leads Video

TikTok officially launched in Egypt in 2018, but saw a drastic increase in users during 2019. With coronavirus forcing many to stay home, users turned to video for entertainment. The rate of applications such as TikTok and Youtube saw an increase of 94% and 41% respectively. Netflix usage increased by 69%, while it’s MENA counterpart Shahid jumped by 40%. Online games also gained more usage, increasing by 96%. 

Facebook Still Dominates in Egypt

More time was spent on social networking sites such as Facebook, which saw an increase of a staggering 151%. Instagram’s usage rate increased by 59%, and WhatsApp by 34%. 

The NTRA added that it has been coordinating closely with the four service operators to follow up on and monitor the increase in telecom service usage indicators daily to handle contingent increases in a way that does not affect the quality of services provided to the public.

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If you see something out of place or would like to contribute to this story, check out our Ethics and Policy section.