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Telcos to shine post COVID-19: GlobalData


April 15, 2020  


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Image: GlobalData

According to GlobalData, although COVID-19 is the most significant theme to impact the technology/telecom industry this year, its effects will be short-term. GlobalData predicts that post COVID-19, telcos are expected to perform well, as the world will be more connected, while businesses will be better prepared to manage situations such as these.

GlobalData has updated its Tech, Media and Telecom Trends 2020 research to account for the impacts of COVID-19 on 600 companies across 17 sectors in technology, media and telecoms (TMT).
“The global telecom market will face sales challenges due to retail store closures and supply chain disruption, and may also take an average revenue per user (ARPU) hit as states insist on bill waive programs to keep the financially weak sectors of society online,” said Sapana Maheria, practice head of thematic research at GlobalData. “Customer support lines will also be affected, as call center staff are required to work from home wherever possible. 5G spectrum auctions and roll-outs are facing delays in several countries.”

According to GlobalData’s research, the companies that have been hit the worst from COVID-19 are from China. The country’s telecom services market has seen a drop of 15 million mobile subscriptions in Q1-2020. A report by Bloomberg claims that this is the biggest quarterly decline in the Chinese mobile subscriber base since they started recording this data in 2000.

Maheria says, however, that these effects will be short-term. “As the country has started to ease lockdown, the telcos are confident to meet the deadlines laid out by the government for the nationwide roll-out of 5G network.”

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Long-term, GlobalData says the outlook remains positive, as reliable connectivity becomes a critical commodity. Following COVID-19, millions of users worldwide will be more connected and more familiar with digital tools.

“Telco networks will have gained first-hand experience in dynamic network traffic management while businesses and their telco partners will have a better understanding of the challenges of home-working,” added Maheria. “The need for robotic health workers, biometric virus predictors and AI health management tools will provide new use cases and investment justification for 5G. The situation will provide a shot in the arm for telco innovation around AI and machine learning and a catalyst for app and solution innovation ecosystems.”