In 2020, every single industry was affected by the pandemic, and the telecom industry was no different. Consumers and businesses depended on connectivity more than ever, especially as more employers began to work from home and schools moved online as well. In 2021 we can expect to see additional changes within the industry as we adapt to life during a pandemic. 

Firstly, 5G will likely be one of the biggest telecom trends of 2021 as many carriers race to complete their 5G markets, and manufacturers work on pushing it into the market. By the end of 2021, T-Mobile pledges to provide nationwide 5G coverage. This is putting significant pressure on the company’s rivals, AT&T and Verizon, to do the same. In addition, edge-computing will continue to spread in popularity due to Covid19’s impact on networking. Businesses have realized they need to adapt, which has caused a particular interest in new forms of IT. Monitoring, remote inspection, and employee safety will promote the use of edge-computing for 2021.

Next, IoT (The Internet of Things) will see an increased demand in 2021. As Covid created an unsafe environment for mass amounts of people to be in the same place as once, businesses have needed to create other ways to operate. Touchless delivery in retail stores and restaurants became the new normal, and other connectivity devices became essential to keep businesses afloat. As employees start to go back to the office, solutions such as location-based services and remote-assisted monitoring will be common to see. 

There is no telling when students and employees will no longer attend school and work online, so network activity expansion will be essential. Fiber-based networks such as Comcast and AT&T have begun to reach more customers and businesses. Big carriers worldwide will be increasing their competitive advantage by building their network footprints. Lastly, the SD-WAN market is further developing as security for businesses becomes more important than ever. The move towards SASE, which is Secure Access Service Edge, will see a demand in 2021 as an essential enterprise networking strategy. According to research by Dell’Oro group featured in an article on CRN, The SASE Market is expected to grow at a 116 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years.