There are two contrasting patterns in the rollout of 5G in the region amid the pandemic. Most markets have deferred discretionary capex to conserve cash or prioritise necessary capacity investment while advanced markets like South Korea, China and Singapore are pressing ahead with 5G plans this year to lead technology innovation.
The pandemic's impact across the region depends on the severity of domestic lockdowns. South Korean telecoms and Indonesian towers are the least likely to be affected due to recurring revenue.
The reliance of the Thai economy on tourism and the Philippines' on remittance may slow the recovery of the domestic telecom markets. This is in addition to the markets' predominantly large prepaid base, which is subject to greater cash flow volatility.
"Elsewhere, we see a gradual recovery from H2 20 as easing competition offsets weaker enterprise and international-roaming segments," said the Fitch report.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.