Back to the future: industry leaps into 2023


Many will be glad to welcome 2021 in a few weeks but when it comes to connectivity it already feels like 2023.

That was one of the conclusions to emerge from the Capacity Asia panel Frictionless Business - Impact of COVID-19 on Data Centres and Network Infrastructure.

Entrepreneur and FiberSense chairman Bevan Slattery, said that the capacity and connectivity requirements witnessed over the course of 2020 have accelerated near term demand trends.

"The demand we thought we would see over 2020 through 2023 that has accelerated into six months. One of the key things we have done is bring forward that demand curve," he said.

Commenting on the influence of remote working trends, Slattery added: "Working from home has a big role to play, not just in terms of fixed line broadband but in terms of mobile broadband. I think 5G is going to play a much bigger role and it has brought forward the business case in 5G. The demand is up significantly but it won't go down. We have compressed three and a half years into six months, and we will now be operating from the demand that we normally would have seen in 2023."

Backing his observations, Dan Caruso, MD of Caruso Ventures, added: "The world as we knew it in 2019 is never going to be that way again. This is a permanent change that marks the start of a new era, much like 9/11 did. What was going to happen in 10 years got accelerated into one."

According to the latest figures from Nokia Deepfield, network traffic increased by 50% during lockdown and many networks experienced a year’s worth of traffic growth – 30-50% – in the first few weeks of lockdowns.  Its latest report said that by September, traffic had even out at 20-30% above pre-pandemic levels, however further seasonal growth was expected.

Its data further confirmed that from February to September there was a 30% increase in video subscribers, a 23% increase in VPN endpoints in the US and a 40-50% increase in DDoS traffic. Peering traffic also saw a 100%+ increase as on-net caches reached their capacity.

Sharing her observations from the enterprise space, Keri Gilder – who was named CEO of Colt Technology Services only weeks into the pandemic – said that despite the acceleration, economic issues are now emerging in some markets.

She said: "Where we are starting to see a little softness in small busines and in southern Europe. In Italy and Spain, which were badly hit right after the pandemic arrived in Europe, we are now seeing the after effects of the longevity of Covid in those countries and we are starting to see a little demand loss on SMEs even though demand is still significantly strong overall."

You can catch up with the session on demand, here.