The Spanish government ordered a near national lockdown on Sunday to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The number of cases of the virus in Spain on Sunday was 7,753 with 288 deaths, up from 589 confirmed cases and ten deaths a week ago.
In a joint statement, the operators – Movistar, Orange, Vodafone, Grupo Masmovil and Grupo Euskaltel – are asking customers to prioritise internet access for “teleworking or tele-study, shifting the use of video streaming and gaming to the hours of least traffic will help maintain the quality of service in this new stage of isolation nationwide”.
They recommended the use of landlines instead of the mobile phones when possible, as phone calls via mobile have increased by around 50% and use of mobile data is up 25%.
The statement said IP networks are experiencing increases in traffic of around 40% and instant messaging traffic, such as Whatsapp, has multiplied by five in recent days.
The increased use of teleworking has also been reflected in the network: the traffic of remote work tools such as Skype and Webex has multiplied by four.
The network operators have emergency teams in place to ensure the network works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are taking measures to boost the capacity of their networks similar to those they implement, for example, in coastal areas in summer.
There is also additional redundancy for the centres from where services are managed, and a “diversification of operational plans” to provide services from other locations or remotely if necessary.
Every effort is also being made to increase the capacity of the networks by putting more equipment into service and increasing the capacity of the existing ones, but these measures are not effective immediately.
In the meantime, to guarantee the quality of service and connectivity the operators are urging, “an intelligent and responsible use of the network and the resources it provides us”.