Jakarta, 18 May 2021. Network traffic on PT XL Axiata Tbk (XL Axiata) services was noted to increase during the Holy Month of Ramadan until the Eid Al-Fitr (Idul Fitri) 1442 H holidays this year. The Customer Experience & Service Operation Center located at XL Axiata Tower, Jakarta, recorded an increase in data service traffic of 35% compared to the previous year's Eid period, and 15% compared to normal conditions prior to Ramadan. Even with a ban on home-bound travel, traffic in large cities that are usually the main destinations for such travel continued to increase.
Director & Chief Technology Officer of XL Axiata, I Gede Darmayusa said, "The pattern of public consumption of telecommunication services and data during the Eid holiday period this year was again influenced by the ban on home-bound travel and various restrictions on mobility at the local level. The community's euphoria in celebrating Eid and spending the holidays by traveling on tours was also not that extensive. This greatly affects the rate of increase in traffic, which is still not as high as it was pre-pandemic, and before Eid travel was prohibited. We are grateful to be able to serve the needs of the community to celebrate this year’s Eid smoothly, almost without any significant disruptions."
Gede added that the pattern of using various types of data services by XL Axiata customers during this Eid holiday can illustrate how the Indonesian people maximize the utilization of digital facilities for various daily needs. During the period of Ramadan and Eid, service traffic was dominated by streaming activities, which reached an increase of 85%, followed by social networks at 8%. On this streaming service, a number of applications experienced a significant growth in usage traffic, such as game-based services that saw an average traffic increase of up to 142%, while Netflix rose by 50%, YouTube by 13% and Spotify by 9%.
In regards to Instant Messenger services, usage traffic on WhatsApp services increased by 21%. Meanwhile, on Social Networking services, Twitter traffic grew by 16%. Other services also experienced a rise in traffic, including online shopping via e-commerce, which jumped by 65%, while web browsing increased by 15%. On Zoom video conference services, although it seemed to be utilized for social gatherings, school holidays and employee leave during this time meant that usage traffic was relatively stagnant and even tended to decrease. Map services or route direction applications such as Google Maps and Waze were also not widely accessed due to travel restrictions.
When analyzing national traffic increases from a regional standpoint during Ramadan and Eid compared to average weekday traffic, traffic rises occurred in Central Java with an increase of 12%, East Java by 10%, and West Java by 7%. Outside of Java, service usage traffic in the North Sumatra region increased by an average of 5%, Southern Sumatra by 8%, Kalimantan by 3%, Sulawesi by 10%, and Bali-Lombok-Sumbawa by 2%. Meanwhile, when analyzed by city / regency, nationally, the three cities / regencies with the highest traffic increases were Sampang by 44%, Bangkalan by 40%, and Brebes by 28%.
In Jabodetabek, service traffic appeared to be stagnant and tended to show a decrease compared to normal conditions. These traffic data trends in Jabodetabek were also in accordance with data on customer movements during the Eid period. XL Axiata’s data records monitored the rate of customer movement from the Jabodetabek area to other provinces to be around 11%.
"Similar to last year, when the travel ban and restrictions on community movement were implemented, the increase in service traffic occurred again in residential areas. The traffic rise in residential areas on a national average reached around 6%. The highest increase in traffic occurred in housing estates in West Jakarta which reached 25%, North Jakarta at 22% and Bogor at 16%,” continued Gede.
Traffic of XL Home
Compelling data regarding service traffic during Ramadan and Eid also occurred on XL Home's fixed line internet service, which saw an increase in traffic of more than 20% compared to weekdays or an increase of 121% compared to the same period of the previous year. The ban on home-bound travel and the restrictions of outdoor movement have prevented people from traveling, which encourages them to spend more time at home. Therefore, access to wifi which is based on a fixed internet line increased during this time. In addition, XL Home subscription packages that offer entertainment services also became attractive alternatives for customers.
"The increase in XL Home traffic is inseparable from its continued increase in the number of subscribers in the last one-year period by 100%. Currently, the number of XL Home customers has reached more than 100 thousand with a coverage of more than 540 thousand home-passed. The increase in usage traffic started to appear since the beginning of Ramadan and towards Eid. During this time, access to internet services rose by an average of 20%,” added Gede.
Overall, to ensure network readiness in meeting customer needs during this year's Eid, XL Axiata increased network capacity by up to 2x compared to normal conditions. Even without home-bound travel, XL Axiata is still preparing to anticipate the potential traffic spikes that may occur at any time. Therefore, network surveillance procedures are still carried out as much as possible. The deployment of mobile BTS is also prepared to strengthen network quality in locations where it is needed.