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Measures taken by Moroccan telecom players to avoid network congestion

Measures taken by Moroccan telecom players to avoid network congestion

By Youssef Diop (*).

-Behavior of networks in Morocco during the lockdown period.

As stated in this issue of Lte magazine, “International telecom players have been asked to step up actions to meet user needs, while avoiding network congestion”. A telecom network, regardless of the switching technology used, is generally not designed to carry traffic in crisis situations.

A few weeks after the beginning of the lockdown in Morocco, on March 16, 2020, internet traffic on telecom networks had increased by around 30% to 40%. Fortunately, this traffic was more spread throughout the day. This increase in traffic is explained in particular by the significant use of videos over IP (e.g. Netflix, YouTube, etc.).

It should be noted that a large part of the data plans on the Moroccan market are unlimited and that the penetration rate of landlines is about 20.7% among households. The traffic was mainly supported by the mobile networks of Moroccan telecom operators. The levels of Internet traffic achieved during the lockdown match the traffic forecasts that were anticipated for the same period of 2021.

This increase in Internet traffic affects both the mobile network and the fixed network. The transport network, which is common to these two networks, is also affected. The radio sites experienced congestion problems at the height of the crisis (nearly 20% of these). These problems have been encountered all over the country.

The operators, in collaboration with the Moroccan telecom regulator, in this case the ANRT, have undertaken actions aimed at increasing the capacity of radio and transport networks, and even at the level of the core network, with a view of continuing to provide their services, in accordance with the quality expectations of their customers. Actions to develop radio coverage were limited in favor of the capacity expansion of existing radio sites, due to the fact that the lockdown made deployments more complex.

It can then be said that, overall, the networks were resilient during this period. In contrast, the share of IP voice traffic (WhatsApp, Skype) has exceeded 60-70% of total voice traffic.

 -Measures taken by the ANRT in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic

During this crisis period, operators were approached by the ANRT to allow partial free access. For illustration purposes, we can cite access to educational websites (Ministries, higher education and vocational training facilities, national research institutes, etc.). – During the lockdown period, the ANRT also made efforts to allow the expansion and the increase of network capacity, as well as to allow the increase in bandwidth, so as to meet new demands.

A. Khaouja explains to the Ministers and to the Governor of Casablanca, the contribution of dimensioning and digital signage in the spectacular improvement of the quality of service at Casablanca in 1986. We could see to the right Mr. Laenser, Minister of télécommunications (PTT) at that time. 

-Digital initiatives implemented by the Digital Development Agency in Morocco (ADD), as part of the management of the Covid-19 crisisThe crisis represented a great opportunity for ADD to deploy digital transformation which is a real lever to help combat the pandemic. During the months of May and June 2020, the use of digital solutions, products and services have spread dramatically around the world, and almost in every industry. This has significantly contributed to the fight against the pandemic. In this regard, we can cite a few examples such as the continuity of government services, the generalization of teleworking and online education, the intensive use of electronic commerce and remote payment, and the granting of subsidies to support vulnerable populations,In this sense, ADD operationalized a series of solutions, in reaction to this unprecedented context of a global pandemic, intended to guarantee the continuity of public services. Among initiatives launched by the stated Agency, in response to the health crisis, we cite the digital registry, the electronic signature book and the electronic signature.

Regarding the Digital registry, it consists of a digital platform that allow mails to be deposited electronically, targeting citizens, public administrations, businesses and associations. This platform provides users with a new electronic channel for submitting their letters to the concerned administration (e.g. filing an online request to ask for an administrative service, filing an electronic invoice for payment of a service, making a request for information electronically, etc.). On the other side, it provides public administrations as well with a solution for automating the process of receiving mails.

Concerning, the electronic signature book, it is actually a platform with the objective of simplifying administrative procedures and formalities, allowing the dematerialization of mails processing and workflow within administrations. Also, the stated solution permits the integration of new functionalities. This platform thus enables the complete dematerialization of documentations flows, requiring evidentiary value.

With respect to the electronic signature, it is a pre-existing process, which has allowed administrations to sign all documents digitally and securely, ensuring simple and easy use. As a reminder, the Moroccan law No. 53-05, related to the electronic exchange of legal data (cryptography), has brought probative force to electronic writing by recognizing the validity of electronic signatures. In this regard, Barid Media played an important role in making this signature available for the benefit of various users.

(*) Youssef Diop est consultant TIC et Télécom 

 

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