COVID-19: Reducing data cost will increase traffic and slow internet speed – MTN Ghana CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, says reducing the cost of data to boost communication amidst the coronavirus pandemic, could increase traffic that will affect internet speed.

In order to stay safe and avoid the spread of the COVID-19, several organizations have asked their staff to work from home, and with schools closed for four weeks, data usage is expected to go up as students stay home.

As a result, there have been calls for a reduction in the cost of data, just as some steps have been taken to encourage more digital financial transactions.

But speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, MTN Ghana’s CEO Selorm Adadevoh cautioned that reducing the cost of data will increase traffic and affect internet speed as the current system cannot handle the load.

“Once you lower prices, invariably the 150 percent growth in capacity will become 300 percent growth in capacity. If we can’t even accommodate 150 percent increase in traffic; then creating a situation where we have to accommodate 300 percent increase in traffic will be a challenge,” he warned.

According to Mr. Adadevoh, any attempt to reduce prices of data will be counterproductive, resulting in low productivity.

“All the government workers have gone home and require a network that can allow them to be productive, but will be denied that ability because the network will become very slow, grinding to a halt””

He stated that even though some observers may think a price reduction will be good for consumers in times like this, the overall economic impact will rather be negative.

“We have to be very careful. The economic impact is significantly larger than a reduction in price of data”.

Providing some information on recent increase in internet usage due to COVID-19, Mr. Adadevoh stated that there has been an upsurge in the use of social media and movie streaming sites.

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