When we give a precise attention, we find out that the value of high-quality connectivity has never been more evident. If the Covid-19 outbreak had happened only a couple of decades ago, when our digital infrastructure was far less mature, home working and home schooling would have been immeasurably harder. A lack of connectivity would have almost certainly led to far more-profound impacts on society and the economy too. Once we return to some form of normality, whenever that may be, we expect certain new behaviors to remain permanently:
In theory, everything from political meeting to exercise classes could see some form of lasting change.
But what is certain, however, is that good-quality connectivity will become an even greater need. It’s clear that the role of operators are so astonishing in this era. In the UK, for example, BT, O2 and Vodafone quickly provided connectivity to the new Nightingale field hospital in London, and Vodafone also doubled calling capacity for the NHS advisory service, enabling it to handle 2,400 calls simultaneously. In the US, AT&T deployed about 50 portable cell sites to bolster coverage for the First Net network for emergency services. And mobile operators in Europe have been sharing anonymized location data with authorities to help track the spread of the virus.
On the other side significant implication of the pandemic is greater usage of mobile payment services. Most of governments have pushed this to discourage people from paying with cash, owing to risk of spreading the virus. A cashless society is good news for governments too, as it increases tax collection compared with a cash-in-hand black economy; never has this been more important than when a country has blown the budget to save its economy. For instance, in France, Orange Bank has raised its mobile payment ceiling from €1,000 to €1,500 following 60% growth in telephone transactions. The pandemic could certainly be a driver of accelerated growth in this area. Nobody can predict the long-term implications of the Covid-19 outbreak on the mobile industry exactly, but for operators the pandemic is certain to spark some opportunities.