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Monday, September 20, 2021

Wondering how everyone is coping with social distancing? Let’s find out

With pretty much unlimited internet access in a nationwide lockdown, people are spending most of their time streaming online, gaming, or scrolling through social media. Let's take a deeper look.

Updated: April 30, 2020 9:24:09 pm
A deeper insight into India’s mobile network experience

The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world into a great deal of uncertainty. The sudden and strange upheaval has brought our lives to a screeching halt and we all are dealing with it differently. People are worried about their health, jobs, and finances but the real struggle, for most of us, is to deal with the isolation and the mental toll it takes. Instead of poring over COVID-19 specific news and blind forwards all day, we must give ourselves a little break. After all, the internet has so much more to offer.

As India unites to battle COVID-19 by staying indoors, technology has come to the forefront and smartphone consumption has significantly risen. While we have adopted different coping mechanisms, the efficient use of smartphones tops the list. With pretty much unlimited internet access, people are spending most of their time streaming online, gaming or scrolling through social media. Let’s take a deeper look.

Catching up on piling shows 

With more new releases every day than any of us can watch, the list of movies and shows on our list just keeps growing. But with COVID-19 keeping us in our homes, most of us have started working through those lists. OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hostar, Zee5, Voot etc. are seeing more traffic than ever with original series getting 32% more viewership than before the pandemic. If you are wondering, Money Heist, Never Have I Ever, Sacred Games, Better Call Saul and Peaky Blinders are some of the most popular shows on Netflix right now while Indian original series like Panchayat and Asur are reigning on Amazon Prime and Voot. Going by the total consumption, in the first 3 weeks of the lockdown, more people watched Mahabharat on Disney+ Hotstar than Bigg Boss on Voot.

It’s clear that OTT platforms and streaming are helping us all cope better with the situation but besides remarkable content, their success is also attributed to the network and mobile penetration. After all, in order to enjoy these services, we first need an excellent network. According to the Opensignal Awards – India: Mobile Network Experience Report April 2020, Airtel offers the best video experience as well as download speed experience (average of 10.1 Mbps) which goes a long way in online streaming.

Mobile gaming to stay connected

What was believed to be an isolating practice is actually bringing us all together during the COVID-19 lockdown. We are talking about mobile gaming here. With friends and family away from each other and unable to meet, mobile gaming is offering an interactive way to stay connected. Multiplayer games like Ludo King, Houseparty, Pubg and Psych are at an all-time high right now with the digitised version of the classing family game ludo enjoying as many as 50 million daily active users. On the other hand, reports show that user engagement on Houseparty and Psych reached a level where people started experiencing lags. If you haven’t tried these games yet, now would be the time.

Gaming does an excellent job of holding attention while keeping the gamers entertained so the popularity makes sense. In fact, games like Pubg and Counter-Strike allow you to talk in realtime so it feels like you’re playing with someone across the room. By the way, if you’re an Airtel user, you have a tremendous advantage in these games. As per the report, Airtel offers the lowest latency or ping compared to its competitors. Low latency (only 54.1 milliseconds) reduces the possibility of any lag and keeps you from losing because of unresponsive game.

Social media apps for everything 

Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram have become some of the most versatile apps on our phones right now. We are talking to each other, gathering news and information, streaming content and even playing games on these apps. Did you know the average time spent on social media apps jumped from 150 minutes to 280 minutes during the pandemic? People are finding their inner chefs and artists, unleashing their latent creative talent with DIY videos and musicians are even hosting impromptu from-home concerts these apps. In fact, Lady Gaga’s home concert raised $127 million for coronavirus relief. For the same reason, YouTube (yes, it’s considered a social media app) has also become the most popular video platform amid the global pandemic.  Since most of these apps also offer audio and video calling features, they are also becoming our go-to service for staying connected with friends and family.

Let’s unite and defeat coronavirus together!

Our mobile devices may have eased the burden of staying indoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic but it’s up to us to do everything to flatten the curve and help others do the same. In the wake of this deadly outbreak, Airtel is also encouraging people to stay indoors as much as possible. Right from getting a prepaid recharge to paying your phone and utility bills, Airtel Thanks app takes care of everything. You can even recharge a non-Airtel number from the App, which is a move the telco made to keep people indoors.

We have shown solidarity before and it’s time to stay united again. A strong network will not only foster new connections but will go a long way in helping India battle COVID-19 together.

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