COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of telecommunications and the need to have resilient infrastructure capable of ensuring a seamless experience in light of the rise of remote experiences’ trend. EY published recently a study entitled “Top 10 risks in telecommunications” which sees failure to maintain network resilience in a post-pandemic world emerge as the most pressing challenge for the industry. Telecom Review spoke to Tom Loozen, EY global telecommunications leader, to discuss the outcomes of the study and highlight its main findings.

Read more: The challenge of maintaining network resilience

Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East Region, discusses the future of the ICT sector in rebuilding post-pandemic economies and bringing digital to every person home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world

Read more: Building a smarter tomorrow on the back of a sustainable ICT sector

The first half of 2020 has been nothing short of transformational for several industries as businesses everywhere had to adapt in order to survive. Thanks to the ICT sector, many businesses have managed to stay afloat and new solutions were even created in an effort to ease customer business operations and manage consumer expectations.

Read more: Rosenberger’s Vick Mamlouk expresses confidence in future of ICT sector

COVID-19 updates
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The U.S. telecoms regulator has announced that major internet providers - including AT&T and Verizon - agreed not to terminate service for subscribers for the next 60 days if they are unable to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said after calls with more than 50 companies that they also agreed to waive any late fees residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.

They also agreed to open Wi-Fi hotspots to anyone who needs them.

Millions of people are expected to work and study from home as employers urge people to stay away from workplaces and schools to reduce the potential to spread the coronavirus.

The FCC’s Chairman said in a statement, “As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected.

Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning”.

Many companies also agreed to waive data limits for the next 60 days.

For customers with international long distance plans, Sprint will provide free international calling rates from the United States to countries with large coronavirus outbreaks.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, praised the companies adopting the pledge, but said the FCC should do more.

She called on the commission to “provide hotspots for loan for students whose school doors have closed” and “work with healthcare providers to ensure connectivity for telehealth services are available for hospitals, doctors, and nurses treating coronavirus patients and those who are quarantined.”

Internet firms expressed confidence that U.S. networks can withstand the predicted jump in traffic. So far, Verizon said it “has not seen any measurable increase in data usage.”

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