COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The internet along with its entire ecosystem is witnessing a revolutionizing impact as the COVID-19 pandemic changes human relationship with technology. Internet and its allied technologies are witnessing growth and newfound importance as they become critical vehicles to not just fight the pandemic but also survive its impact. Businesses are migrating online to ensure business continuity amid unprecedented times that have separated employees from their workplaces. Governments are utilizing mobile apps and GPS technologies to track, monitor citizens health and identify and quarantine infected people. Hospitals have shifted to telemedicine to safely deliver healthcare services as physical outpatient (OP) centers close down. The over 4 billion people shut up at homes as a result of the shelter-in-place orders have increased their use of internet video, chat and messaging platforms and services to remain in touch in friends and family. The internet in short has become the umbilical cord to the outside world for society and businesses alike amidst the pandemic.
Global online traffic in a single week ending April-20 spiked by 28%, while online transactions rose by 48% & average page views by 30%. Video chat services like Google Duo, Next door, and House party have all witnessed large increases in traffic since January 2020. Similar popular work from home (WFH) remote collaboration apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Classroom, have skyrocket to popularity. Market cap of Zoom Communications in just a few months has exploded to US$48. 7 billion, bigger than the combined market cap of the world's top 7 airline companies. While consumers cut spending on other non-essential products like clothing and furnishings, spending on digital offerings is increasing as media consumption increases. Overall internet usage has increased by over 75%, while streaming content spiked by over 15%. In-home media consumption is rising to unprecedented levels. Worldwide online watching of news has risen by 67%,while time spent on messaging services has risen by over 50%. Engagement with different digital devices is also rising. There is over a 35% increase in desktop PC usage as evidenced by the increase in desktop browser use and a 70% and 40% increase in smart phone and laptop uses.
As offices and schools worldwide move into the basements and living rooms of homes, cable modem, an important piece of network hardware that allows computers to connect to the internet, is witnessing uninterrupted gains. Panic buying of computer, internet and IT hardware has additionally pushed up sales of cable modems over the last few months. With home IT suddenly assuming critical importance, consumers are focusing on acquiring new internet connections and upgrading existing connections and broadband speeds to enable multiple home devices to hook-up to the internet without speed degradation. As a result, new residential internet connections are creating a parallel demand for modems and routers. Classified as an essential service, ISPs are upgrading internet infrastructure with no interruptions in new installations and maintenance. Against this backdrop, global market for cable modem is projected to reach US$10 billion by the year 2027 after recording a demand spike of 9.3% in the year 2020. As the unsung hero of a smart home, cable modem and routers will gain demand momentum as focus shifts to smart homes and automation in the post COVID-19 period.