Telecommunication - the “mission-critical” sector in the time of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown, perhaps more than any event in human history, how important the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure is to maintaining communication and keeping businesses, governments, and societies going. The ICT sector has become the most critical to maintaining the continuity of the economy and many countries in the following aspects:
- Organizing work from home. Working from home has become commonplace for many employees who can do their jobs this way. However, organizing work from home has become a major challenge for employers. Live streaming from the management to a group of 40 or 50 people may result in considerable lags or even completely overload the Virtual Private Network (VPN).
- Business operations. Many companies have begun to rely on the internet more not only to organize their employees’ in-house work but also in their business operations. There has been an upsurge in online training, live-chats, and webinars. As in the bullet point above, online events with a dozen or a few dozen people necessitate the need to have access to an efficient Internet.
- Maintaining communications, access to information, and entertainment in lockdown. ICT network loads have become much higher because users spend more time online. They are more active on social media, download more Gb of data, and shop online. Online video game services, including Steam or streaming services such as Netflix, are experiencing a massive surge. The operators try to accommodate the needs of people who spend an overwhelming majority of their time at home. They have introduced new products such as free access to video content or extra internet plans. The use of such services puts a burden on the ICT infrastructure.