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COVID-19 scenarios for telecoms operator service revenue: worldwide forecasts 2019–2024

07 May 2020 | Research

Hilary Bailey Catherine Hammond Julia Martusewicz-Kulinska Martin Scott Stephen Sale Stephen Wilson Rupert Wood Michele Mackenzie

Forecast report | PPTX and PDF (18 slides); Excel | Fixed Broadband Services| Digital Services| Mobile Services| Operator Investment Strategies| Global Telecoms Data| The Middle East and Africa| Asia–Pacific| European Core Forecasts| SME Strategies| Video, Gaming and Entertainment| Large Enterprise Voice and Data Connectivity| Large Enterprise Emerging Service Opportunities| Americas

"Telecoms operator revenue could fall by up to 6% worldwide in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak."

This report examines the range of outcomes for operators’ telecoms service revenue in eight geographical regions worldwide. The report explores the economic impact that COVID-19 may have on 10 different components of operator service revenue using three scenarios: mild, moderate and severe.

This report answers the following questions.

  • Which regions will be affected most severely by COVID-19 in terms of telecoms operator service revenue?
  • Which services will be impacted most severely by the global pandemic?
  • How long will it take for revenue to return to pre-COVID-19 levels (if at all)?
  • Will any services benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic?


  • We built three scenarios around different GDP forecasts based on third-party data: mild, moderate and severe.
  • We broke telecoms operator revenue into 10 component services, each of which will respond differently to the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • residential mobile
    • residential fixed
    • business mobile
    • business fixed
    • business ICT
    • video
    • mobile IoT
    • digital economy
    • mobile wholesale
    • fixed wholesale.
  • We quantified the impact of each scenario on telecoms operator service revenue. These forecasts explore the impact on usage, the subscriber base, average spending and other areas. 

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