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Impact of COVID-19 on Telecom Metrics

As we leave 2020 behind, the widespread global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on societies, consumer behaviour, and the telecommunications sector has become even more clear: Remote working is the new way of working, education is done virtually, the engagement to digital services is higher than ever, and telecommunication companies play a pivotal role as enablers of this new way of living that all citizens, businesses, and governments must adapt to.

Although the telecom industry was perceived relatively more resilient to extraordinary changes imposed by the global pandemic, the industry still felt its effects on various verticals. Mobile and fixed broadband service providers all around the globe faced great challenges to meet massive consumer demand, which further emphasised the need for further improvements or new deployments for their networks.

In this research article, with the virus still in sight, we assess the evolution of main telecom industry KPIs in the past year for a selection of countries, identify main drivers of the observed changes in these metrics, and evaluate how individual countries respond to the harsh challenges during such extraordinary times.