Although the bulk of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, lingering effects in the form of ongoing remote work and network usage will continue to influence how telecom operators operate.
At the start of the pandemic, reliance on in-home data usage spiked by up to 18 percent compared to pre-pandemic times, and average daily data usage rates exceeded 16.6GB. While these levels were mostly caused by the shift to telework and teleschool, the popularity of working remotely will likely continue.
Telecom carriers looking to stay competitive should continue strengthening their network infrastructure and adding greater flexibility to their service offerings to provide reliable and high-performance connectivity for their customers.
The shift to remote work and schooling shifted people’s telecom connectivity needs. In September 2020, only 48% of surveyed consumers said they felt their connectivity services met their remote work and education needs, meaning more than half of buyers want better network service. Since partial or full remote work is here to stay, consumers increasingly seek operators that offer flexibility, such as the ability to activate and deactivate services as needed. Other top factors for carriers include fast network speed, reliability, and cost.
At the household level, many people shifted from enterprise-level office networks to residential connectivity, which caused greater network congestion and slower performance compared to at the workplace. The use of VPNs and security processes also reduced overall network speed. Telecom carriers should recognize these challenges and tweak their services accordingly to better serve their customer needs.
The number of employees still working remotely will continue to place a strain on telecom infrastructure. If customers experience slow speeds or unreliable connectivity, they may look for another provider, so carriers need to make sure their networks have sufficient capacity to support 5G and other internet-intensive technologies.
Telecom operators looking to stay profitable and successful in the new normal need to invest in network infrastructure, research, and development to best capitalize on new technologies, such as 5G and the Internet of Things. Top carriers will offer services to both B2C and B2B audiences and prioritize high performance coverage for both indoor and outdoor IoT applications.
Carriers can gather information on the types of applications and telecom services customers are using or are likely to use soon to understand overall connectivity requirements. Carriers can then update the most important aspects of their infrastructure accordingly to satisfy current and future customer needs.
Operators embracing the cloud and AI features can collect and interpret real-time customer data to learn valuable information about their mobile users. Those insights inform how carriers can tailor unique services for specific customers and their challenges, and can inform potential upsell or cross-sell opportunities.
Customers in the new normal may face lingering challenges brought on by the pandemic, such as layoffs or other financial struggles, which directly affect their ability to consistently pay for service. Telecom carriers should be accommodating for these customers, offering flexible payment options or eliminating bandwidth caps to help ease those struggles and promote their happiness to promote retention.
Read More: Addressing Top Network Challenges of the Telecom Industry
If you are a carrier looking to expand your network infrastructure to support new technologies, such as 5G, we can help. Reach out to the Edison Carrier Solutions team today and we can discuss your connectivity needs and how our solutions can help increase network performance, scalability, reliability, and security.
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