I live in northern New Jersey, not far from the coronavirus epicenter of New York City, where the pandemic has taken its toll on my, and my family’s, daily life. We’ve become hermits, venturing outdoors only for dog walks and studiously avoiding neighbors when we do. We rely on online shopping and grocery delivery services to further minimize interaction with others. As of now, we remain free of COVID-19, and for this, we thank God.
Our inconveniences are trivial compared to those who have been infected, not to mention the rapidly growing numbers of families who have suffered loss at the hands of this destructive disease. Sadly, things will get much worse before they even begin to improve. All of us at Microwaves & RF hope all of you are as well as can be and doing right by yourselves and everyone else by staying home.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc with pretty much everything, including the high-technology business at large and the wireless industry subset. According to ABI Research, the pandemic has forced a delay in the crucial standardization work that would make 5G available for enterprise use cases. The relevant standardization body, 3GPP, formally announced a deferral of this standardization until at least June 2020, which would delay commercial rollout of industrial 5G until at least 2022.
Given that most industrial enterprises are looking to upgrade their communication technology in 2021, such a delay will result in 5G missing out on at least 25% of the revenue opportunities within those enterprises. And, in turn, it will push the rollout of 5G into warehouses, shipping ports, and factory floors until at least 2022.
Back in 2003, when the SARS virus appeared in China, the Chinese economy accounted for just 4% of global GDP. Today, it’s about 16%. China still is reeling from its ravaging by the coronavirus, but with the rest of the planet so heavily dependent on its manufacturing capacity, the global supply chain can’t help but feel the impact. According to the procurement and supply-chain consultants at GEP, exports of electronic components from China to North America have declined by more than 50%.
As a result (again, says GEP), we can expect the global technology industry to see massive disruptions caused by the coronavirus’s impact on production from China. It might not be an immediate effect, but we can be sure that it’ll be felt in the coming months—just in time for the launches of major consumer technology products in the second half of 2020. Buckle up, things could get, uh, interesting.