The Impact of COVID-19 on 5G

By Telecom Tech Outlook | Friday, April 10, 2020

The tech industry has faced far more repercussions due to the outbreak. With China being the centre of the epidemic, manufacturing of a lot of parts has almost come to a standstill with nearly the whole the nation being shut down

FREMONT, CA: The COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on all sectors of business, and the telecom industry is no exception. The rollout of 5G technology, one of the most awaited telecom enhancements of the year, is one of the worst-hit and is likely to be put on hold due to the virus. Stock markets have crashed with multiple companies running into losses. The coronavirus is rapidly becoming the catalyst frightening investors as the virus begins to affect supply chains, travel, and all primary functions.

The tech industry has faced far more repercussions due to the outbreak. With China being the centre of the epidemic, manufacturing of a lot of parts has almost come to a standstill with nearly the whole the nation being shut down. For instance, Apple is expected to face severe challenges with the production of parts due to slowdowns at the Foxconn manufacturing facility. The outbreak is also likely to have an impact on travel, preventing Apple's engineers from travelling to China to ensure the quality of production. Moreover, one of the more significant updates for the iPhone was supposed to be the 5G enabled services, which is likely to take a substantial hit as the coronavirus would mean that fewer networks would be available for the manufacturer to leverage.

The new pandemic comes at the time of the rollout phase of 5G networks. Few network providers had already started experimenting with the launch of 5G networks in a few parts of the country. The virus has a high possibility of disrupting the progress of the next generation of wireless connectivity. The crisis mainly will affect the production of key smartphone components such as displays and semiconductors. The situation is even more intense as China takes the leading role in the production of devices, making it an integral part of the 5G network process.

Chip manufacturers such as Samsung have already announced they are cutting production. While it’s faced increasing scrutiny outside of China, Huawei is still the world’s largest telecoms vendor. Even industry events where products are announced and partnerships formed, like MWC, are being cancelled to help limit the spread of the virus.

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