This report examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on 5G networks and services. It looks at supply-side challenges such as constraints on network builds and delays to spectrum auctions and standards activity, as well as the impact on operator investment decisions. The report also considers how the pandemic will affect consumer demand for 5G mobile and fixed-wireless access (FWA), as well as emerging 5G use cases such as cloud gaming. The report analyses the effect of the crisis on business demand for 5G services such as back-up connectivity for SMEs, and on industrial use cases such as private networks. The report also provides implications for telecom operators and their suppliers.
The report takes a largely qualitative approach to assessing the impact of COVID-19 on operators’ 5G plans. Ongoing revisions to our forecasts will provide quantitative data on the impact of COVID-19 on metrics such as revenue and capex.
This report is based on several sources:
- internal research on the impact of COVID19 on the telecoms industry, 5G forecasts and ongoing coverage of business and consumer 5G use cases
- interviews with stakeholders in the 5G market
This report answers the following questions:
- Does COVID-19 change the business case for 5G non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA)?
- What will be the impact of COVID-19 on 5G capex in various regions?
- Does the pandemic change the investment priorities of telecom operators?
- How will consumer demand for 5G mobile be affected?
- Do some potential 5G use cases look more promising now?
- How will 5G business services be affected by COVID-19?
- What are the main 5G opportunities in the enterprise sector?
Who Should Read this Report
- Strategy executives in telecoms operators.
- Marketing and commercial executives in telecoms operators that are responsible for developing 5G propositions.
- Vendors that are developing their own visions for 5G and working with telecoms operators on 5G.
- Investors that are interested in the short, medium, and long-term impact of 5G on telecoms businesses.
- Planners that are assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms market.