The COVID-19 pandemic is ubiquitous now, not to mention its widespread prevalence across the world is affecting people's lives in every possible way, along with adversely impacting the majority of sectors in the market. The high communicability of the disease has led people to be stuck at homes, following strict social distancing rules, with most companies adopting a 'work from home' model where feasible. This solution is proving to be a boon for telecom services, which has seen a spike post the mandatory lockdown announcements globally.
A bulk of work is now being done undertaken over phones and computers via calls, messaging, email, and video conferencing, which require the use of high-speed internet. Moreover, the entertainment sector over online streaming services, like Netflix, has seen a major boost during this period. Thus, the telecommunication sector has emerged as the basic means to continue the daily operations of businesses and providing entertainment to the public.
The development of internet technology in the digital age has drastically changed the telecommunication sector, which now comprises of telephone companies and internet services providers. Despite the fact that the majority of the revenue in the telecom industry is still contributed by telephone calls, the telecom market is currently being ruled by the text and image service, comprising of messaging, email, and video streaming. Most prevalent among these, however, is the entertainment and broadband information services provided by means of high-speed internet connection, for example, the Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). Notably, the highest growth in the telecom industry is met by the value-added services delivered over mobile networks.
Post-the COVID-19 induced lockdowns across the globe, the telecom industry has witnessed a growth, with a 10% reported increase in traffic and a 20% increase in viewership of the streaming services. Thus, the telecom sector is among the very few industries that are being positively affected by the global lockdowns. This, however, does not mean that managing the increased audience is a cakewalk for the telecom sector as new challenges are being posed regularly. Telecom companies are focusing mainly on increasing the capacity of the network due to increasing traffic. They are focusing their attention on planned investments like in 5G, with consumer comfort being at the forefront of the planned investments and developments by the major players in the industry.
Telecom companies across the globe are undertaking extensive steps to provide uninterrupted services to the customers. A majority of the telecom companies have increased capacity, are offering unlimited minutes, and have provided anonymised data to aid in tracking the spread of COVID-19. They are continuously adhering to the growing needs of the consumers at lower costs, along with providing free networking tools to aid the customers.
The widespread COVID-19 situation demands that the government invests and adapts the means to spread awareness among the citizens via telecom companies. These companies are assisting the government with outreach and analytics to spread awareness about COVID-19 and providing anonymised data to the government to be used for developing plans to combat the pandemic.
Thus, despite the drastic changes caused by the spread of this pandemic, it is expected that the telecommunications sector will be one of the least negatively affected sectors of the economy across the globe. In fact, due to the mandatory lockdowns across the globe and with people in quarantine, the telecom companies are expected to see a rise in their profits due to the increased traffic. While the sector is not untouched by the problems, it is addressing them at their quickest. The governments and stakeholders are also well aware of the importance of this sector amid all the problems. Continued efforts to make the functioning of services smooth and the continuous catering of the needs of increased customers who are working from home or are availing the entertainment services, will help the telecom sector remain stable and help offset any dip in the revenues for a stable economy.