The Impact of COVID-19 on the Need for 5G
Service providers are to invest in more robust home solutions as Covid 19 impacts the way we work and how Telecoms are needed.
The effect of the pandemic on the Telecommunications industry
Over the last few months local networks have been put under pressure to keep up with the demand for better connections; people are working from home, using tools such as video conferencing and streaming services such as Netflix more and more. Vodafone’s internet usage has surged by up to 50% in some European countries and Virgin Media has given almost 3 million of its mobile customers 10GB of free data, along with other providers who have done the same or similar.
A worry is that the system will not be able to be updated to keep up with demand, with the consequence that the consumers will feel let down by their service providers if expectations are not met. Operationally, with likely delays in the manufacturing and delivery of network equipment, 5G and fibre network builds will be slowed, which will have a knock-on effect.
What happens next
The use of 5G has in many cases proven invaluable during these uncertain times. Its technical superiority has supported physicians in diagnosing, treating, and operating on patients without the need to be physically near them.
In China in January for example, telecoms ZTE and China Telecom designed a 5G-powered system that enables remote consultations and diagnoses of the virus by connecting physicians at West China Hospital to 27 hospitals treating infected patients.
In the office work force, many employers have increased their reliance on teleconferencing tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and Zoom — as their employees switch to remote work due to public health concerns. We expect that employers' dependence on such tools during the coronavirus pandemic will strengthen the case for 5G connectivity in the home — and in the office as enterprises recognize the value that teleconferencing tools offer.
A 5G connection will be able to provide real-time and uninterrupted communication that's not possible with most wired connections today.
As more and more people and industries see the value in 5G connectivity, Telecoms providers will have an increased need for specialist teams on the ground to update the network.
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