The COVID-19 outbreak, declared as pandemic by the World Health Organization, is causing huge impact on our people’s lives, families and communities besides economy.
COVID-19 is impacting the Telecoms sector along various areas including supply chain, employees and operations.
Leading actors of the sector should carefully determine their responses to different risk and crisis scenarios, measures to be taken in the short and medium term, and their effects on competition and strategies.
As PwC Strategy& Turkey, we recommend that telecom companies focus on 6 areas and critical questions related to them in the current crisis and risk environment.
1. Workforce: Protect your people and plan your workforce
Across the Telecommunications sector, the workforce is varied – and includes IT contractors, call centre workers, field-force workers – so the challenges will be diverse.
2. Operations and supply chain: Maintain business continuity and protect your supply chain
75% of companies report that COVID-19 has disrupted their supply chain. The Telecommunications sector could be one of the most impacted particularly from any delay to the rollout of 5G. Several fiber optics suppliers are based in Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated. Therefore, this puts downward pressure on the overall pace of 5G rollout.
3. Communications strategy: Provide clarity to employees and stakeholders and enable business continuity
The health and safety of employees should be at the heart of every comms plan. Organisations must ensure there is a communication plan in place for employees, as well as customers.
4. Focus on data: Gain insight and assess your exposure to risk
The situation is very fluid and it’s paramount that businesses have access to the right insight to make informed decisions. Telecommunications businesses need to play a key role in ensuring that the data they hold for clients is available and is trusted by businesses and consumers.
5. Customers and revenue: Balance customer care with commercial priorities
Whilst many challenges exist, particularly for those in Telecommunications sector, there are also opportunities for businesses. For example, an increase in remote / home working may drive the need for IT hardware, VPNs and conferencing tools. Equally, as we spend more time at home, the demand for streaming service and online gaming is likely to rise hence putting a strain on OTT.
However, it’s key that with rising demand and pressures on the network, attention is still given to maintain service levels.
6. Head office functions: Join-up efforts on a cross functional basis to ensure business continuity and resilience
Businesses need to ensure that they can continue functioning effectively but must explore where the risks lie for their business.