In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic upended the traditional work model for many businesses. For decades, we have commuted to an office where we would typically work a 9 to 5 day. The pandemic changed that. Businesses had to draw up social distancing guidelines and provide employees the means to work from home.
Not only has the pandemic caused an abrupt change in the way we work, it has also shifted the trajectory of the telecommunications industry. With people now working from home and with face-to-face interaction lessening, face-to-face the way we communicate has had to transform, as has technology.
Figure 1 - Remote Work Environment
Let’s take a look at the different ways in which telecommunications has been impacted due to the pandemic.
1. The Popularity of Remote Work and Hybrid Models
Dependence on unified communications is trending upwards due to more businesses opting for a remote or hybrid workforce. Many organizations and individuals realize the value in utilizing telecommunications technologies, with remote schedules benefitting not only employees but also employers. Due to this, more and more companies are embracing communication tools that allow their employees to connect with coworkers remotely.
Tools like Microsoft Teams allow employees to meet, collaborate and share documents all while working remotely, facilitating communication and collaboration across the board.
2. Accelerated Industry Growth
As more and more companies started offering work-from-home scenarios to their employees to ensure business continuity, telecom operators experienced rapid growth due to a greater demand for services. More remote workers meant an increased demand for communications solutions, a key factor in driving telecom services market growth.
COVID-19 catapulted our use of technology in the workplace and at home. This constant immersion with technology also contributed to the ever growing presence of the Internet of Things (IoT). In the simplest terms, IoT is how we describe the digitally connected world of everyday physical devices. These devices are embedded with internet connectivity, sensors and other hardware that allow communication and control via the web. Since telecom is so instrumental in providing this IoT infrastructure, the industry is equipped to further develop and offer their own services for IoT in future, an idea that the pandemic accelerated.
3. Expansion of Service Offerings
While eagerly anticipated for some time, 5G has no doubt been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. With more people telecommuting, taking online classes, streaming online content, and engaging with coworkers via teleconferencing while working from home, demand has exploded for greater speed and capacity in residential networks.
Poised to eventually replace the current 4G network, the fifth generation of cellular networks is claimed to be 100 times faster than 4G, offering faster connectivity speeds, ultra-low latency and greater bandwidth to meet wireless demand for such use cases as 4K video and IoT connected devices.
These faster connectivity speeds and greater bandwidth would mean the ability to support many more connected devices, and could pave the way for new service offerings and network operation for telecom operators and easier and faster connectivity for remote workers.
4. The Importance of Contingency Planning
While typical contingency plans ensure operational effectiveness following events such as natural disasters, cyber attacks and power outages, never before have they taken into account quarantines, lockdowns, stay at home orders and travel restrictions that may occur in the case of a health emergency.
A successful telecoms operator will need to implement contingency plans with a view to the possibility of another pandemic-induced crisis. As part of a resiliency plan, telecom companies should assess their network infrastructure and its ability to provide quality service under wide-ranging demand patterns. For example, preparing for surges in mobile communication due to travel cancellations or ensuring that network demand will meet a higher rate of work-from-home users’ needs will give confidence to customers.
5. Increased Focus on Security
COVID-19 has brought about the need to digitize and adopt data storage solutions. Knowing that businesses and individuals want to feel confident that their data is secure, telecom organizations are shoring up their infrastructure with greater cybersecurity and resilience to cyber attacks.
With huge amounts of sensitive company and critical user data, no telecom organization wants to be the victim of a cyber attack. Having the right talent and processes in place to support resiliency when attacked is also of paramount importance and something that telecoms will need to continue to focus on.
How Nexusguard can help
In recent years, partnering with or hiring a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) has become more necessary than ever, helping telecoms not only prevent cyber attacks, but also develop strong cybersecurity offerings. With ample measures in place to combat cyber attacks as well as the technical know-how, proven proprietary technologies and processes, joining forces with an accomplished MSSP like Nexusguard is one of the safest bets. Together with a team of SOC experts, Nexusguard can help prevent DDoS attacks by surgically removing them at the perimeter of your networks through smart combinations of on-premise and cloud-based DDoS mitigation solutions, which integrate best-in-class DDoS mitigation filtering techniques with tabulated analytics, and visual representations of metrics and indicators, through a single pane of glass, optimizing both workflows and user experience.
For further information, please read about Nexusguard’s Network Protection, Edge Protection and Extended Cloud Protection services.