Mobile internet on the rise as Gaddafi’s reign ends

As the world’s eyes fix on Libya and the capture of its infamous leader, the country’s mobile networks are beginning to operate again. This according to figures released by mobile advertising network, Buzzcity.

In the last few months, Libya has been in headlines over the refusal of its controversial leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down from the office he has held since 1969. On Wednesday, however, Gaddafi lost control of Tripoli when rebel forces captured his Bab al-Azizia compound.

Libyan traffic peaked in January 2011 with 110-million ads served but has dropped each month since, to an all time low of 8 239 in June.

August has seen a dramatic recovery with 369 100 ads served in a single day.

“While we do not know if the mobile internet is being used as a mechanism for the people of Libya in their fight for freedom, we share our data as part of our partner alert system. Our partners need to know when there are sharp growth trends, because there will be load-induced stress on operator networks,” says Dr KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCity.

The Buzzcity graph below suggests that mobile networks are functioning more normally again in Libya and that consumers are using their smartphones.

This also shows that the internet shut down of 3 March is coming to an end. Though there had been some activity from the country it was nothing like before. As internet tracking company Renesys explains:

We’re still piecing together the data that can confirm or deny much of what’s been reported overnight, but one thing is clear: something very strange was going on with Tripoli residents’ Internet access. Service was restored suddenly in Tripoli, flickered on and off for a couple of hours, and then died, with the majority of the country’s international BGP routes withdrawn from service for good measure. Today the routes are back in Tripoli, but ADSL service isn’t. This morning we’re looking back at this curious overnight episode, and speculate about what might have happened.




Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.