According to a recent report by EY, the pressure to maintain telecom infrastructure and the resilience of network reach is industry’s top challenge which has been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. While concerns regarding the scaling of digitisation initiatives rank second on the list.

Further, the report has suggested telecom operators to take proactive measures in order to maintain their positive customer service perception. There has been over 30 per cent surge in data consumption amid the pandemic, pushing India five years into the digital future, the report added.

The report noted that only 46 per cent of telcos perceive cybersecurity as compliance or crisis-driven rather than as an ongoing and proactive endeavor.

As per the report, industry also faces challenges due to ineffective engagement with industry verticals and the public sector, often due to low awareness of the benefits of 5G. In addition, failure to mitigate rising geopolitical tensions and competitive disruption also needs to be addressed as it could lead to delays in 5G rollout on the back of supply chain disruption brought by global trade forces.

On one hand, tech players have upped their ante over value chains while new mobile entrants are helping in driving down the pricing to gain market share, the report added.

Other risks listed among the top ten include failure to redesign workforce purpose and inclusion; failure to improve capital expenditure (Capex) efficiency and network returns; poor management of investor and stakeholder expectations; inability to adapt to a changing regulatory landscape, and failure to take advantage of changing market structures.