What is the opportunity for telcos in the so-called ‘new normal’?

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Matthew Nicolle - Director, Customer Development

June 9, 2020

Written By: Matthew Nicolle - Director, Customer Development

As the telecommunications industry shifts back to ‘normal’ operations, your teams are not alone in questioning how to operate, how to innovate and how to thrive in a world that looks much less certain than this time last year.  

We’re in uncharted waters – my boss is a Newfoundlander, so he’ll like that reference – but the outlook is far from bleak.   


The foundation was shaken, and it revealed opportunity  

“The lessons learned to date are that, for the most part, service providers were largely well equipped to meet the 30% to 40% increase in bandwidth demand on their networks as millions of employees and students became home bound,” explains Mike Roebuck at Fierce Telecom


Service providers rolled out virtual visits within weeks.   

Carriers shifted capacity to effectively power residential home networks to simultaneously act as both businesses and schools. 

Our most recent Tactical Teams episode explained it in real terms. Home broadband via Wi-Fi had to stretch to fulfill the needs of our modern families - multiple adults on Zoom for work and for those of us with kids, a virtual video streaming cinema and TikTok studio, with maybe a gamer thrown in for a little extra bandwidth drain.

Field teams and the teams behind them might not be as celebrated as some front-line workers - but they rose to the challenge with agility and efficiency during the rapid response the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated.

This swift change in process and demand was enough to shake our preconceived notions. Your teams pushed hard and fast against the roadblocks which created opportunity for progress and innovation.

Now the question is how to follow-up?  


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Investment in home-based services and connectivity expected to rise 

 A survey conducted by Gartner recently queried business finance leaders and revealed  74% will move their workforce to remote positions permanently. 

For telecommunications and cable companies delivering residential broadband connectivity and content to end consumers, this is an opportunity to provide a better residential service offering and improve the customer experience.   

Could this take the form of an enterprise-grade connection package for the home office - not just from a bandwidth capacity perspective but also assurance, self-service or concierge tools, security and reliability guaranteed by a back-up enabled through a mobile network? Just an idea. 

This recent publication from Deloitte is a quick but pertinent read on how communication service providers can move forward. It doesn’t offer solutions necessarily, but asks some very relevant questions about new service introductions: 

  • Should we capitalize on the customer’s current emphasis on secure, high-quality connectivity to accelerate the introduction of new products and services? 
  • If so, how should we deploy new services in this environment? Do we need to alter our branding, market positioning, and sales and service models? What should our partner ecosystem look like in developing or offering a more complete solution? 


I mentioned Newfoundland earlier - which is Canada’s most easterly province for anyone not familiar. It’s an island deeply rooted in tradition and having a good time. Their expressions are legendary. Here are a few that resonate: 

“Wait a fair wind and you’ll get one,” means that if you wait, an opportunity will come. 

“Let no man steal your lines,” means to not let the competition take what is yours.  

I’ll leave it at that.  




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