The role of the Telco and Media sector in maintaining activity during the pandemic has been essential and, generally throughout the world and particularly in Spain, the suitability of the investments made in infrastructures and digitalization in the past has been amply demonstrated, although, for the time being, it will not be reflected in an increase in income, due to the economic crisis.
In addition, social distancing has led to an increase in home media consumption and the growing demand for audiovisual content and electronic press is expected to continue over time, despite the considerable fall in advertising revenue suffered by the Media sector.
According to a report drawn up by Indra company Minsait on the situation of Spanish Telco and Media companies in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, the main Spanish operators have reported increases of more than 50% during the lockdown in terms of data traffic and the number of telephone calls, while mobile services have experienced an upturn of 90%.
OTT video contents have also undergone considerable growth, with an increase of around 30% in the case of video streaming platforms and a rise of 500% for messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. The surge exceeds 400% in the case of collaborative tools.
In Minsait’s opinion, this environment, with greater and greater consumption of communication media and applications, together with the new remote working paradigm, online education and telemedicine, will lead to a notable increase in network traffic, as a result of which the sector should continue to invest in network infrastructures and their operations, as well as in new technologies so as to monetize connectivity in the obtaining of new sources of income that have yet to be capitalized on.
Indeed, the experts interviewed in the study point out that the levels of digitalization and use of digital tools after the crisis will experience rises ranging between 30% and 40%, due to the reassessment of companies’ working methods and the habits of end users. This will provide an opportunity for the sector with regard to the range of digital services and the company segment.
In order to successfully address the new demands and business models, Minsait regards it as essential for operators to enhance remote channels and automated assistance with a view to the return to normality, in which the massive demand for voice, data and content services will continue, and the response to any further outbreaks and pandemics.
Likewise, the transformation towards network virtualization, the cloudification of collaborative environments and the adoption of agile methodologies will flexibilize and optimize the deployment of new services and shorten the time-to-market for their launch.
The era of the digitization of the workplace will lead to virtualized desktop tools playing an ever greater role, incorporating productivity, monitoring and risk prevention solutions in order to advance towards a digitalized online customer service model.Within this context, the possibility of facilitating the ubiquity of online sessions, regardless of the device used at any given time, is of particular interest.
Media companies must also capitalize on the full potential provided by the digital transformation to offer new services linked to the progress of payment-per-content models and a better understanding of their customers in order to meet the demands of the new consumer profiles, such as digital natives.
Despite the delay that 5G is experiencing due to the postponements of radio spectrum auctions, Minsait believes that this technology will become one of the catalysts to expand the capabilities of mobile networks in order to adapt them to the new demand for telecommunications services and to open the door to the deployment of large fleets of connected devices.
The report also considers it essential to continue investing in cybersecurity, which has allowed companies in the sector to avoid being significantly affected by the intensification of cybercrime during the global pandemic.