TECH SUPPLIER May 2020 - Market Forecast - Doc # CA45063520

Canadian Communications Services Forecast, 2020–2024: COVID-19 Turns Telecom Inside Out

By: Lawrence SurteesResearch Vice President, Communications, Meng Cong, Manish NargasResearch Manager, Consumer and Mobile Research


This IDC study presents IDC Canada's five-year forecasts for communications services spending by market and customer segments, company size, industry sector, and region for 2020–2024 based on the annual update of IDC Canada's custom Communications Market Model and replaces our previous comprehensive spring and fall 2019 forecasts (see Lawrence Surtees, Meng Cong, and Manish Nargas, Canadian Communications Services Forecast, 2019–2023: Telecom Inside Out, IDC Canada #CA43809119, May 2019).

This current five-year forecast document is based on revised assumptions of our initial pessimistic scenario of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021 presented briefly in IDC Canada's webcast in early April 2020 (see IDC Canada, News Release, "IDC Expects Canada's Telecom Market to Face a Significant Revenue Slowdown in 2020 and Beyond," Toronto: April 6, 2020).

However, the COVID-19 pandemic is showing economic impacts on a scale not seen since the Great Depression as well as introducing many uncertainties and factors that change almost weekly. Clients are cautioned that this forecast document, unlike previous years, is based on a temporary snapshot of macroeconomic forecasts and conditionsthat existed in mid-to-late April. Readers are urged to visit IDC's COVID-19 micro-website (at for frequent updates on the impact of COVID-19 on the global and Canadian ICT sectors.

Readers should note the adjustments made in this study and rely on this forecast for initial 2020 planning purposes. This study addresses the following questions:

  • How does current and projected spending on Canadian communication services differ by: market segment, customer segment, company size, region, and industry vertical sector?
  • Which customer segments, company size, industry, and regional segments of the Canadian communications services market are poised for growth, and which are the best opportunities for communication service providers (SPs) over the new five-year forecast period?

Canadian communication service providers face a triple challenge in 2020 of meeting unparalleled network demand and coping with a severe economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic while also investing in new next-generation 5G wireless networks as the commercial rollout begins this year.

"Communications providers are largely recession proof and fortunately investments in next-gen network technologies and architectures are allowing communications SPs to cope with unrivalled demand," says study coauthor Lawrence Surtees, vice president of Communications Research and principal analyst at IDC Canada Ltd. "But the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic is still a great unknown and its associated economic shocks could dramatically impact the current forecast."



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