Spending in the Americas on telecommunications services and pay TV will absorb the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and remain essentially flat at $623 billion this year, according to a pay-TV and telecom spending forecast from IDC.

The Americas, with a 0.04% decline, will be the least effected of the three regions into which IDC divides the world. Asia/Pacific and EMEA will decline 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively, during the same period. Overall, spending will reach $1.561 trillion, a decline of 0.8% from $1.574 trillion in revenue last year.

The pandemic clearly is leading to significant shifts. The mobile segment will decline slightly due to reduced roaming revenue and mobile data overages, IDC said. There also will be fewer net additions, particularly in the consumer segment. Fixed data service is perhaps the biggest winner with a 2.9% increase as the sector strives to handle all the people staying home. Fixed voice spending will decline as people drop service to save costs, with IP voice (which is often included in bundles) the least impacted voice service. Pay TV will be helped by the fact that people are spending far more time at home but hurt by the economic downturn. Overall, IDC predicts it will decline slightly.

At the higher level, the pandemic has rearranged priorities. “As the 5G revolution is being put on hold or delayed by the pandemic, the already proven technologies and business cases will keep the ball rolling in these uncertain times,” Kresimir Alic, the research director with IDC’s Worldwide Telecom Services team, said in a press release about the pay-TV and telecom spending forecast. “Hosted VoIP/UCaaS, collaboration tools, SD-WAN, IoT, along with network optimization and increased reliability will keep consumers and businesses connected during the tough days of pandemic and global recession.”

Earlier this week, Gartner said that the pandemic will lead to a worldwide IT spending decline of 8% compared to last year. The firm concurs with IDC that priorities will change. In the case of IT, the focus will be on mission-critical technology and services at the expense of projects aimed at growth and transformation.

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