As the telecom players ensured their networks were up and running to meet the unprecedented surge in demand during lockdown times, the sector is currently enabling 30-35 percent of the GDP in the COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing period, other than the present 6 percent direct contribution to the GDP, a new report has said. The new normal will see an increase in enablement through telecom as the sector braved the conditions to keep the networks up and implement necessary changes on-the-go to augment capacities due to an unprecedented increase in the demand for digital services enabled by telecommunications.
According to the report prepared by research firm techARC in collaboration with the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the telecom leaders saluted the central government as well as the state governments for providing all support to the industry during these tough times. "With the timely intervention of the Department of Telecommunications and coordination with various state and local authorities, the defunct BTS (base transceiver station) sites were brought down from 800 to 70, increasing the capacities substantially," said Rajan S Mathews, DG, COAI.
Applications like telemedicine, e-education, drone surveillance, and Industry 4.0 are going to see a surge in consumption, along with new technologies like 5G and IoT taking more significant roles in the near future, thus aiding the new normal.
"We swiftly extended all global best practices and learnings to the India telecom ecosystem by realigning the portfolio on the three principles of Secure, Scale and Stimulate, giving the operator community an immediate resolution of the challenges and linking them with the likely future requirements," said Amit Marwah, Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs for Nokia India, during the first virtual techFLIX special series.
The leading industry experts said that many of the patterns and trends that have emerged during the pandemic situation are going to stay and the telecom sector needs to get prepared for that. "While connectivity and apps are available to the consumers, device fulfillment is a challenge impacting the productivity of people directly," said Sachin Kalantri, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Qualcomm India. According to the report, the government must look into the requests of the sector empowering them to serve the customers more efficiently. "Going forward, technologies like 5G shall play a vital role in further enhancing work from anywhere experience," said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder & Chief Analyst, techARC.