Five pieces of advice from the NMHH for internet users during the coronavirus pandemic

Published: 17 March 2020

In order to ensure that users have continued access to the internet at sufficient levels of quality, it’s worth reconsidering net usage habits, particularly in peak times – advises the National Media and InfoCommunications Authority. It is worth opting for cloud-based services instead of attachments or using compressed files at the very least, voice calls instead of video calls and lower resolution in the case of streaming. The InfoCommunications Authority also encourages operators to consider what discounts they could offer for elderly prepaid mobile users in the current epidemiological situation.

Due to recent events, we are using our domestic communication networks far more intensively, as these infocommunications technologies and networks allow us to work and study from home. Major domestic mobile operators are offering significant discounts that increase network load further. Even in international comparison, Hungary has a mobile and landline network of outstanding quality and the operators are doing the utmost to satisfy significantly growing demands, which is fully supported by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH), for example, by continuously inspecting, when necessary, the state of the infocommunications infrastructure with expedited interference monitoring and eliminating any possible disturbances.

However, the individual responsible behaviour of users can contribute to preventing any mobile or landline network overload in the weeks to come, providing users with continued access to online services in the appropriate quality. To this end, the NMHH asks the observance of the following advice:

  • Avoid sending big files (e.g. videos, presentations, high resolution images) as attachments and instead, provide links to them through cloud-based services.
  • Only download or send large attachments or data files online when necessary. When absolutely necessary, do so at night or in the morning and use file compression (e.g. Zip).
  • Minimize the use of streaming services (video-sharing platforms, online games) in peak periods – in the daytime – that aren’t indispensible for work or study purposes.
  • When the use of video content is unavoidable – for example, when studying online – use standard definition (SD) format, which can still provide acceptable quality on a small screen.
  • When possible, in the case of videoconferencing or using applications for correspondence (between friends and family) (Viber, Skype, etc.), aim for using voice-only functions and turn off the video function, when not necessary.

With these simple solutions, subscribers can do a great deal in order to prevent the deterioration of the quality of mobile and landline-based services in Hungary, so everyone could use the internet at the usual level of quality, even in this challenging period.

NMHH also asks for supporting the voice calls of elderly prepaid mobile users

NMHH welcomes the fact that Hungarian mobile operators are increasing the available data quota of subscribers. The standpoint of the InfoCommunications Authority is that this measure can greatly facilitate day-to-day tasks at the time of the spread of the coronavirus. However, the NMHH feels it is important for prepaid users to receive a similar discount for voice calls as many of them are members of the older age groups that are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. The NMHH is cooperating with electronic communications operators to provide prepaid users with effective support.