Telcos will be critical to retaining any semblance of normalcy in post-Covid-19 social and enterprise settings, according to tech market advisory firm ABI Research.
ABI said telcos will be not only be crucial in enabling nations to manage the transition out of Covid-19 related stagnation, but also in providing a resilient national infrastructure to stimulate GDP growth.
In its new whitepaper “Telcos As a National Growth Accelerator”, ABI chief research officer Stuart Carlaw identified several strategies that governments can utilize to invest in stimulating growth by strengthening the telco position.
“The telco community globally has largely been the butt of less favorable regulation, lack of strategic governmental attention, and subject to the hostile intentions of webscale competitors,” said Carlaw.
In the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak, telcos have emerged as a key asset that has enabled the continuity of many businesses and helped people remain engaged, stimulated, and healthy while in “lockdown” situations.
“Moreover,” Carlaw added, “it could be argued that telcos could play a pivotal role in countries being able to rebound from the financial and productivity shock coming from Covid-19.”
Telcos have been invaluable in enabling some semblance of societal continuation during lockdowns due to Covid-19. At the basest sense, telcos have enabled many millions of workers to continue contributing to the global economy from their homes. They have enabled enterprises and organizations to continue operations and have entertained many billions with access to content, Carlaw explained.
“In a very tactical way, they have enabled governments to track, trace, and manage the spread of the virus, communicate effectively and directly with people, and keep supporting society in a virtual, but valuable way. Without the investment and operational diligence of many telcos, the impact of Covid-19 would have been far deeper and more profoundly felt in all economies.”
The fundamental truth that telcos put mobile devices and connectivity in people’s hands at affordable and accessible rates is one shining beacon of opportunity in the current gloom, ABI said.
Looking to the future, how can telcos be pivotal in driving the global economy forward as the world emerges from the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic?
“This can largely be separated into two major buckets: 1) tactical support for a safe society; and 2) a more strategic role revolving around supporting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) creation in market settings that will have new parameters and effectively be a new paradigm, Post-Covid-19,” Carlaw said.
The most significant impact that telcos can have is spurring GDP growth, which will be accomplished by stimulating the embrace new working practices that are driven by technology.
“They will be key in enabling a new digital society. Beyond the obvious conclusions that we are likely to see, including more remote working, more virtual meetings, and more virtual teams (all of which will be enabled thanks to the connectivity supplied by telcos), a raft of new solutions could accelerate GDP growth and all will require a robust level of support from the telco community,” Carlaw said.