Global Telecom Industry Poised for Growth Despite Financial Stress

Global Telecom Industry Poised for Growth Despite Financial Stress

“Intimately linked to the global economy, the telecommunications industry has long been both a key generator of economic expansion and a recipient of economic growth. In general, the telecommunications industry has doubled its base economy. The telecoms sector has historically been strongly tied to the broader economy's performance, with GDP reductions accompanied by matching declines in operator income as earnings are reduced. But the nature and function of telecoms in alleviating the current coronavirus epidemic could lead to a discrepancy.”

In particular, initiatives to distance society seem to lead to a considerable increase in the use of telecommunications services. This can even lead to a steady increase in demand for telecommunications services over the longer future as more people get comfortable working at homes and other forms of distant engagement.

Major Downturn

The stock market as a whole (as assessed by STOXX Europe 600) was generally monitored during the coronaviral outbreak and was hit by little under a fifth from the beginning of February, as averaged by the telecom companies

The substantial decline reflects the anticipation that income cutbacks will shrink demand for telecom services based on past recessions. Social separation, however, is more dependent on telecom, somewhat compensating for the impact of the anticipated economic downturn.

Whereas operators will be affected in the short term differently, depending on their client mix, for example, it is obvious that networks are seeing a network traffic increase over the lock-down. Therefore, one significant issue for the sector will be how long a shorter increase in telecommunications services demand can be sustained in the longer term, and whether such a boom in use can be monetized. In this document, we feel that there are reasons to be cautiously hopeful at least for some investors and telecom operators.

Covid-19’s Impacts On The Sector

Many telecom players – from broadband and mobile operators to data centers – have benefited from an increase in data and voice traffic. The telecoms industry, therefore, performs well in relation to other sub-sectors of infrastructure. The telecommunications business has in general been excluded from the significant limitations relating to COVID-19, such as home-residence orders and quarantine regulations since it is considered an important service in contrast to many other industries.

A short-term increase in data traffic and the increasing use of broadband services have enhanced several telecommunications companies because more people are working from home and rely on video conferencing to arrange meetings. The growth in traffic has shown that connection and digital services are more dependent.

Operations And Maintenance

Maintenance and operations remain largely uninterrupted: Clients, usually assured of maintaining normal service levels and operational performance, have not reported a prolonged period of interruption. Emerging-market governments often enable vendors to maintain maintenance because of the requirement for quarantine connectivity. Most customers have a critical stock that protects them against interruptions of the supply chain. Nevertheless, the capacity of containment operators to maintain network quality may be jeopardized if lockdowns continue or worsen in several emerging regions in the period beyond July 2020.

No substantial interruptions occur at service levels: Most customers have effective business continuity plans, robust operational procedures, and essential process delivery agreements. Operating performance is therefore typical and service levels are greater than 99.95%.

In the industry, contingency preparations assist companies to accommodate higher demand: The challenge to load data was usually doable. As the work from homes transfers people away from city centers, the density of data is dispersed, hence congestion of networks is reduced. If demand exceeds capacity our TS customers can request the use of gasp, lower speed, and lower quality by over-the-top service providers (OTTs).

Response To The Crisis

With the unknown future at stake, our customers are striving to balance their short-term growth to satisfy increased demand and the preservation of capital to deal with a protracted economic slump.

Clients have conflicting feelings regarding a new network and facility construction deployment in the middle of uncertainties. Many customers have already bought and shipped additional facilities to building sites. However, some customers should be conservative and deployments should be slowed down to deal with concerns. Others view rising demand as fresh economic prospects. Over the past few weeks, this latter entity has reported more confirmed orders and aims to seize on the chance to exceed its business plan for 2020 to maximize the declining labor prices.

Customer groups with lower income, who suffer the most damages, should lower or stop buying airtime and data bundles. But growing consumer consumption, mainly driven by greater data use, can partly offset the loss in the lower segment in the higher-income client segments.

Infrastructure operators, MNOs are reluctant to sign new wholesale contracts. New MNO contracts may be declining from infrastructure operators including tower companies and energy service firms (ESCOs). Their MNO customers are less inclined to take risks in expansion or continuous conversion of 3G to 4G devices and stop taking any 5G deployments into consideration.

Major Market Highlights:

  • Sprint Corporation, a US-based telecommunications firm, has been acquired by T-Mobiles US, Inc. The strategic combination was designed to construct resilient 5G network infrastructure in the United States and to capture the maximum market for rural and urban areas. The merger will provide the company, its network, and others with a proposed investment of around USD 40 billion over the coming three years.
  • AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications pooled the 5G spectrum of about USD 70 billion to give customers with better network access. In addition, several major cellular operators, including China Mobile Ltd., KT Corp., BT Group Plc (EE), and Vodafone Group plc, are heavily investing in supplying spectrum millimeter-wave (mmWave).


A lengthy epidemic will disrupt the global economy, affect consumers' and businesses' financial health, and hence, long-term demand. Mobile and broadband operators with significant exposure to retail consumers may suffer more in the short term, but eventually, the harm will affect the entire value chain. How long the lockdown lasts will be influenced.

Most customers showed trust in the pandemic management. Nonetheless, several expressed medium-term concern as the pandemic persisted and sought IFC support. As a result, IFC is accelerating its investment of more than $400 million to help our current telecommunications customers.

The funding will be used to address working capital requirements, short-term refinancing of debt, and assist the development of the network through longer periods of grace and tenors. The telecoms sector support from IFC forms part of the $8 billion in fast-track financing provided to IFC. This is a $2 billion Real Sector Crisis Response Facility for customers in infrastructure, production, agriculture, and services, including TMT.

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