Telecom industry growth is critical to post-COVID recovery of Europe?

The telecom industry plays a key role in post-COVID economic recovery. Telecom industry growth will impact positively the society but that will only be possible with huge investments in 5G and fiber technologies.

Developments and demand for digital services, like e-learning and e-health, seem to be temporary but this is only at the first glance. Even after the end of lockdowns, social distancing is predicted to remain a pattern of our lives for a period beyond and the longer the services are in demand, the more likely they become part of our lives.

Although telecom industry being used to not having much strategic governmental attention, with the arise of COVID-19, it won a place in the central stage of society. It has enabled the continuity of many businesses and helped people remain engaged, stimulated, and healthy in a pandemic situation with the help of more connectivity and digital services.

In a post-COVID world the situation won’t be different and with telecom industry growth, the recovery of society may be closer than it seems.

Main benefits of telecom industry growth to society

The latest report presented by European Telecommunications Network Operators Association (ETNO), shows the need for citizens, homes and companies to be fully connected through 5G mobile networks and fixed fiber optic networks at the end of this decade. This is a vision expressed by the European Commission with its goal of achieving “the European digital decade”, but more than ever it became a urgency after a pandemic that has shaken the European economy.

Advancements in connectivity will be a great ally of Europe in what comes to the recovery of economy. It will enable the creation of new jobs and according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis, 5G may be capable of generating an annual increase of €113 billion in GDP and 2.4 million new jobs in Europe by 2025.

5G can boost annual GDP
Source: BCG and ETNO Report

But that’s not all. In the same study, BCG states that these developments in connectivity can help to reduce carbon emissions by up to 15%, since smart cities can contribute to a 30% cut in carbon emissions and digital transformation in the transport sector with additional 30% lower carbon emissions.

In order to achieve this level of growth in the telecom industry, BCG in the study published by ETNO, refers that Europe will need 300 billion euros until 2027, to build infrastructure for the developments of 5G and fiber connectivity.

Main areas of acceleration

Nowadays, the telecom industry is pursuing seven different avenues for improving valuations and rethinking operating models for both business purposes and broader societal benefit.

BCG study shows that the European telecom industry is accelerating its transformation in 7 main areas shown in the image below:

Telecom industry is accelerating transformation in 7 main areas
Source: BCG and ETNO Report

In the same study, BCG states that the telecom sector is confident and that it has the right vision and the right strategies in place to help Europe seize the opportunities that come from the deployment of new generation networks. This offers also strong opportunities for telecom industry growth.

As seen in this article, one of the most significant impact that telecom industry can offer to society is boosting GDP growth, which will be achieved by stimulating new working practices that are driven by digital.

For now, we can only hope that European governments agree and work together to make possible the investments needed for the telecom industry growth and consequently a better recovery for Europe.