This IDATE DigiWorld report explores how telecommunications and Internet services have been affected by the biggest economic and financial crises of recent times – from the Internet bubble for the telecoms sector and the subprime loan crisis for the Internet services sector – as well as the European debt crisis and, of course, the still ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Each crisis has played out in a very different way: the telecoms sector weathered the COVID-19 crisis fairly well, for instance, but suffered a real setback during recent economic crises such as the European sovereign debt crisis. On the flipside, ad-funded online services (including for giants like Google) have been hit hard by COVID-19 but remained relatively unscathed by earlier crises.
GDP growth and telecoms revenue from 2011 to 2015
Steady decline in telecoms revenue following the European debt crises
The report seeks to draw a distinction between structural changes and the direct impact that these crises have had on markets:
- Fixed calling, fixed Internet access and mobile services for the telecoms side of the equation;
- Online advertising (search and display), e-commerce and cloud computing (only at the regional level for the latter) for the Internet services side;
- Each of the major global markets (USA, China, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK) and the different regions.
This qualitative analysis includes quantified historic data for the different countries, from 2000 to 2019 (2008 to 2019 for Internet services) and forecasts for 2020 to 2024 (highlighting pre- and post-COVID forecasts).
How is Covid-19 affecting 5G?
The public health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the entire planet, since it first appeared in late 2019. The crisis forced a number of countries to scale back their economic activity for several weeks, if not months. As a result, the global economy has fallen into its deepest recession since the Great Depression of 1929 – a recession that has affected every single industry worldwide. Even if telecommunications have helped sustain businesses that could continue to operate virtually, the telecoms industry itself, 5G included, has felt the impact of the pandemic.