As this month marks the one-year anniversary of the global pandemic declaration, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to run deep and wide – lockdowns and quarantines remain in place, and while vaccine rollouts bring hope that the end is in sight, it is anyone’s guess how long the effects will continue in the future.
For the telecom industry, the global pandemic presents challenges that have turned into opportunities to expand reach and enhance services.
Enhancing Wireless Coverage for Rural Communities
With the pandemic pushing employees to work from home and students to remote learning environments, gaps in internet access have become more prevalent, and the opportunity to provide better coverage to rural communities are available to local carriers through increased access to spectrum.
Case in point: the recent CBRS and C-band spectrum auctions in the United States. Smaller, local operators were part of these auctions to offer bandwidth and wireless coverage to consumers in rural communities, which would provide more reliable mobile access to underserved areas.
Increased Interest in Enterprise Private Networks
TBR’s latest market forecast reports that enterprise interest in 5G has greatly increased since the pandemic began, moving forward adoption timelines and ensuring that the software upgradability of private LTE systems to 5G will enable some enterprises to accelerate their migration to 5G.
“The pandemic prompts enterprises and governments to pull forward and broaden the scope of their digital transformations, primarily for business resiliency and cost‐reduction purposes, but also for tapping into new market opportunities. There is significant interest across verticals in leveraging 5G, as well as other new technologies such as AI and edge computing, to adapt economies and societies to the new normal.”
Private networks are a way that various industries can securely manage enterprise networks. Consider the healthcare space that has been overwhelmed because of the pandemic: a private network that allows hospital staff to securely collaborate, track assets, and monitor patients is critical when the system is overloaded.
A Way Forward
The telecom industry is known for innovation, and as more challenges result from COVID-19, Mavenir anticipates the industry will continue to step up to turn those challenges into opportunities to help all those affected by the pandemic.
 TBR_Oct 2020_PrivateCellularNetworksMarketForecast2020‐2025