COVID-19 related lockdowns have changed the digital lives of people all over the world. It has been no different in Eurasia. The move to study, work and shelter in place has put immense pressure on technology companies and network service providers (NSPs) throughout the different regions to meet new user needs and expectations.
In response, NSPs are exploring new broadband delivery and access technologies while developing value-added services that enhance support of streaming video services, online gaming and bandwidth intensive business applications -- such as video conferencing and large data transfers.
Prior to Covid, there was already significant industry movement to improve bandwidth throughout the region by harnessing established technologies -- such as cable and fibre. The new requirements for working and studying from home, however, have revealed an immediate and urgent need for an improved user experience that includes reliable and fast connectivity, seamless video streaming and increased security.
As a result, NSPs have rapidly adopted solutions that address markets not served by traditional terrestrial infrastructures. Interest, for instance, is rising in the role that fixed wireless access (FWA) technologies can play to connect unserved markets that are in bandwidth deserts, or to improve services in underserved communities, that need better broadband access.
In addition to larger efforts to deliver as much bandwidth as possible in Europe and Asia, there has been a growing requirement to better manage the rising number of devices within residences that need access to internet and cloud resources.
We can expect NSPs in the regions to make investments to upgrade wireless networks inside subscribers' homes. One of the major consequences from the pandemic was the sudden shift of traffic from mobile networks to home Wi-Fi networks. It’s an unprecedented event resulting from a huge shift in consumer behavior. Wi-Fi 6 -- and the upcoming Wi-Fi 6E technologies -- are very exciting. We should see these technologies widely deployed within the next few months.
The new work from home norm throughout Europe and Asia has changed user experience expectations. Reliability of services and connectivity, as well as appropriate bandwidth, have been elevated and will continue to remain a key requirement. As a result, additional investments will be required to adapt the network architecture and increase infrastructure capacity.
These improvements will have to be matched by better capacity -- and performance -- of gateways and set-top boxes in the home. A more sophisticated environment is needed that is both faster and smarter than the previous generation of technologies.