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COVID-19 has brought with it tremendous challenges that many Telcos have had to deal with as fast as possible. Our reliability on connectivity has never been more crucial and this seems to be a very prevalent in the field of broadband as more people are expected to work from home.

The reliability on mobile data has decreased due to this meaning that this demand has shifted onto broadband networks, namely home internet. Operators across the world have been struggling to keep up with this surplus in demand. They are having to accommodate to all the consumers that are reliant on the internet while the gaps in their market are becoming more apparent, causing them to have to immediately transform and upgrade their network, infrastructure and services.

Telecom Review managed to secure an interview with InfiNet Wireless’s CEO, Dmitry Okorokov to discuss the company’s experience throughout the pandemic.

The pandemic has basically affected almost every single industry. How has Infinet been affected?

Like many others in our sector, we are experiencing certain difficulties in response to the ongoing and unfortunate situation. However, Infinet Wireless remains committed to serving our partners and customers. We have instructed employees who are able to work remotely to do so - in line with the guidelines of relevant authorities. Our production line continues to operate as normal to meet the critical and business requirements of our customers.

We have experienced some disruption with shipping and delivery delays, as is expected and unavoidable. We still continue to ship equipment, our production has been operating as usual and we have been receiving new orders from across the world. We will continue to fulfill our obligations to both our employees and customers.

Our research and development (R&D) work is continuing as intensively as possible. Our R&D teams continue to work remotely and with high levels of efficiency. We have also made sure all our other departments can work remotely too and we remain committed to our ambitious plans for design and development; our development plans remain in place and on track.

Broadband providers all over the world have been affected in one way or another by this pandemic due to the spike in internet traffic. How is Infinet Wireless coping with this demand? In your opinion, how should Telcos and service providers act in the face of a pandemic-induced spike in internet traffic? Should they start worrying about network loadings and their ability to cope with this demand or should they see it as an opportunity to upgrade their services?

Internet traffic has increased significantly in response to the situation as more people work from home. Telecom operators are faced with the challenge of increased load and sustaining a good quality of connection channels, which need to be high-performing and reliable to meet customer expectations.

We believe that operators should update their channel equipment fleet as quickly as possible in order to meet existing challenges and future demands from customers, especially as new technologies emerge.

The effects of Covid-19 will be long lasting, and the consumer habits forming now may well continue even after the pandemic has subdued. For example, remote or home working is expected to remain popular.

At the same time, new digital services will continue to appear, for which even more productive connection channels will be needed. When conditions are difficult for radio frequencies, special attention will be paid to technical solutions that can increase channel performance. These are the exact solutions that Infinet Wireless offers to the market.

So, yes, service providers should consider the network loads and their ability to cope – but this in turn will require network upgrades.

What gaps has COVID-19 presented in this industry? How has/does Infinet plan to tackle them?

Over the last month, according to the World Economic Forum, global Internet traffic has increased by about 30%. The increased strain on providers calls upon technologies such as for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to tackle demand. Consumers in lower-GDP countries, with less terrestrial connectivity infrastructure, are particularly vulnerable to connection overloads.

While some short-term approaches are helpful, for example, restricting video streaming quality to reduce network congestion, or providing additional temporary spectrum, we see FWA deployment as a better solution. The rapid deployment of 4G and 5G FWA services can provide coverage where the fixed network is non-existent and quickly meet this increased demand.

Infinet Wireless is responding to this by keeping our solutions available to the market at competitive price points, offering the high performing FWA solutions required to meet the increased demand.

Governments and industry regulators can play a vital role here too. By opening access to unlicensed spectrum, service providers can offer more bandwidth to customers. This eases the pressure on ISPs, allowing them to offer better service.

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