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Jakarta Post

Telkomsel records surge in data traffic, use over Idul Fitri

  • Yunindita Prasidya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 28, 2020   /   04:37 pm
Telkomsel records surge in data traffic, use over Idul Fitri Telkom sales promotion girls use mobile phones to check the operator's data service in this undated file photo. (Kompas/-)

Telkomsel saw its mobile data traffic soar during Idul Fitri on May 24 to 25, as customers nationwide used digital platforms to connect with family and friends over the Muslim holiday while adhering to the stay-at-home policy.

The mobile network operator and subsidiary of state-owned telecommunications giant Telkom recorded a peak increase of 22.8 percent to 26.7 petabytes (PB) in mobile data traffic during Idul Fitri, and a year-on-year (yoy) increase of 42.1 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

Telkomsel president director Setyanto Hantoro noted that many customers celebrated Idul Fitri differently this year because of the COVID-19 epidemic, which had prompted people to stay at home instead of traveling on the annual mudik (exodus).

“As a connectivity enabler, Telkomsel has tried to ensure that each customer can still [reach out] in silaturahmi (spirit of kinship) and remain connected with loved ones, despite having to do so from home,” Setyanto said in a written statement released on Wednesday.

As Telkomsel customers turned to digital means to connect with their loved ones during Idul Fitri, the company recorded a steep hike of 75.4 percent in mobile data use compared to normal days.

Messaging service WhatsApp recorded the biggest increase during the holiday compared to other messaging apps, with usage up 49.2 percent.

Social media platforms still dominated data use at 30.8 percent, showing an uptick of 3.6 percent from normal use. 

Telkomsel also noted unusually high data traffic in Greater Jakarta, which typically emptied during the holiday as people left for their hometowns on mudik. Instead, it recorded a 60.9 percent yoy surge in data traffic in the area.

In correlation, annual mudik destinations recorded fewer arrivals among Telkomsel customers.

The company’s customer tracking data showed a decline in arrivals of 77 percent in West Java, 83 percent in Central Java and 83 percent in East Java compared to 2019 figures. 

Setyanto added that Telkomsel would continue to expand its quality, capacity and coverage to provide better data services to customers.

The statement said the company had expanded its network to 436 points of interest, focusing on improved coverage in residential areas, hospitals and transportation hubs.