The Novel Coronavirus (Covid19) has disrupted the tech industry and financial markets around the world. The telco industry is no exception because the effects can be heavily felt in all parts, due to a shift in demand accompanied by manufacturing and supply chain disruption issues. However, this pandemic has massively reshaped tech-based user behaviour, which may attract new digital initiatives and public funding.
How is the Telco Industry Handling the Situation?
- Cancellation of Global Networking Events
The global pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of numerous global networking events, which is a nightmare for the majority of tech companies. Major tech companies were forced to withdraw participation from events and conferences. Alternatively, some companies have resorted to leveraging potential online events and the distribution of online content. Live streaming events have helped to an extent, but the telco industry heavily depends on in-person networking events and conferences. Although it is difficult to quantify the probable value of lost opportunities and interactions, the impacts can undoubtedly be felt throughout the industry.
- Disruption of the Supply Chain
The most prominent impact is a major disruption to supply chains of telco equipment. The industry is facing a tough challenge since major production units have been partially or fully closed to stop the spread of the virus. The manufacturers have to make necessary adjustments to their volume of production, procedures, and business strategies. Identifying the potential risks at an early stage will help them to prepare changes for a sudden shift in the balance of demand and supply. Leveraging on correct forecasting tools and data sets will prove imperative as the manufacturers continue to maneuver their strategic decisions.
- Demand for Data Security while Working from Home
Companies globally have implemented WFH policies, thus the rise in video calls/phone calls. Teleconferencing has seen a massive surge as employees rely on collaboration applications such as Cisco System’s Webex, Microsoft Corp’s Teams or Blue Jeans Network for client meetings and internal affairs. These remote workers are likely to use low-security home networks to access the company data. It makes them vulnerable and often exposed to cyber threats as the back-up servers of these networks are not fully secured or lack updated security software. A survey by Bain & Company conducted in November 2019 suggested that 48% of executive-level staff have reported inadequate cyber defense systems. Hackers easily identify these weaknesses and exploit the situation aggressively. Telcos can do their part by fortifying their security postures, rapidly improving where needed, and ensuring their customers have access to the best possible defenses against cyber threats.
- Additional Burden on Telecom Networks
The closure of educational institutions and offices has caused an increase in the volume of data transmission. The lockdown creates an opportunity for young individuals to consume increased levels of data by watching more videos, commercials, films, and series. Limited mobility also increases to this surge in data transmission. This may result in congested networks and additional costs being borne by the telcos to resolve issues However, the telco industry is playing a major role by disseminating information to people regarding health and safety. Major telecom operators are also helping by providing additional data to their customers free of charge in the lockdown period. The Telecom industry has developed unique solutions to leverage the situation and can compensate for the financial losses to some extent in indirect ways.
- The Dark Horse; 5G Network
The increasing need for remote communication is an eye-opener to the importance of 5G network development. The growing need for superior connectivity and instant communication from remote locations is becoming a priority for many industries, which can be fulfilled by the implementation of 5G. It can do wonders for the areas of telehealth and teleconferencing, which can be a game-changer in this pandemic. Unfortunately, the development in 5G networks had to be put on hold due to a lack of investments and manpower in the lockdown period. The supply of network and telecommunication equipment from major providers is also contributing to the same. Therefore, the implementation of 5G networks around the world will face delays.
How will the services of IX Telecom stay uninterrupted during the lockdown?
IX Telecom is delivering on its promise to provide uninterrupted connectivity and has activated a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan. We have implemented a Work From Home policy for the health and safety of our employees. They are equipped with the right equipment and connectivity to ensure seamless services and client meetings. IX Telecom will remain available 24/7 as usual, and our network monitoring systems and NOC/vNOC will remain untarnished throughout the outbreak season to ensure the smooth running of critical business operations. We are also taking this opportunity to improve our portfolio of services to ensure flexibility for tailor-made packages based on your needs during this time.