BuddeComm Intelligence Report - Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the Telecoms Sector

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Last updated: 11 May 2020 Update History

Report Status: Current

Report Pages: 40

Lead Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Contributing Analyst: Henry Lancaster


The outbreak of the virus known as COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has created havoc all around the world and there have been many thousands of confirmed cases and reported deaths. This has placed enormous strain on the healthcare systems and economies of many countries.

It has also severely impacted upon many industries such as tourism, trade and aviation, with each industry having its own unique set of issues to manage. The telecoms sector has not been immune to this disruptive event and it has been impacted in multiple ways, which BuddeComm explores in more detail in this report.

Governments, telecoms and solution providers, private enterprise and start-up companies alike, are all striving to develop responses to the pandemic, either by increasing access to Internet services and capacity, introducing e-health and e-education programs, providing access to free devices or exploring new and pioneering solutions. BuddeComm has included many country specific examples of the various strategies being deployed around the world throughout this report.

Many operators have demonstrated a keen sense of social responsibility during the COVID-19 crisis by launching various initiatives to support society in terms of education, enterprise, and healthcare and have been strongly supported by governments in these endeavours.

The operators and content providers have had to quickly adjust to an enormous surge in demand for Internet-based products and services, particularly from employees and students now working from home.

Many citizens are seeking increased access to online entertainment, streaming VoD and video-conferencing services and companies like Netflix, Skype and Zoom are benefiting from this development.

With the pandemic continuing to unfold across the world, and an end-date to the crisis not yet known - the telecoms sector will need to continue to be adaptable and receptive to change in a way that has never been seen before. The importance of telecoms services and its role in society has also never been highlighted quite so clearly as it is now.

This BuddeComm report explores the key trends surrounding the impact of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on the telecommunications sector from the aspect of mobile devices, subscriptions, infrastructure and the operators. It also explores the various strategies and approaches to telecom services provision being deployed by different countries around the world.

Kylie Wansink

Senior Analyst, May 2020

Key developments:

  • The pandemic has highlighted how dependent the global telecoms sector is on China, particularly for device manufacturing.
  • The early deployment of 5G in China has allowed it to begin testing potential applications to assist in various ways with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Global 5G developments may be disrupted or delayed during 2020.
  • Consumer and business spending on telecoms services may be impacted during COVID-19.
  • Tele-health and e-education solutions have accelerated around the world.

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