iGR is updating forecasts in-building wireless deployments in U.S. factories, retail, healthcare, the energy sector and in warehouses to show the expected impact of the global virus COVID-19.
These are frightful times for a forecaster considering the uncertainty the United States, indeed the whole world, faces with the pandemic.
“People are still getting work done, but it is work that was begun in the fourth quarter of last year, maybe first quarter this year,” said Iain Gillott, founder and president. “That’s not happening right now. You are not going to see new prospects to sell them a system. They are not there.”
iGR is forecasting a six-month delay before the market gets moving again. The second quarter will be dormant with much of the nation under stay-at-home orders, and the third quarter will be taken up by sales, walk throughs and design. A comeback is expected in the fourth quarter but the speed of which will vary upon the industry.
“This year looks weird,” Gillott said. “Just pull out six months and obliterate them, which is brutal. It is tough.”
iGR analyzed each sector and their accompanying subsectors. It is not an easy process, Gillott concedes. Each sector will recover at a different rate, according to Gillott, and the subsectors will vary in themselves.
“You can’t generalize the impact of the pandemic across a whole sector,” he said. “Plus, each sector will be affected differently base on geography.”
Healthcare is going to receive a lot of money for new systems to provide telehealth, but hospitals are going to be preoccupied for some time with the influx of COVID-19 patients. Other sectors, such as retail, hospitality and stadiums, may not come back as quickly and have a slower ramp up.
“Areas link entertainment and hospitality are going to be struggling to survive this and get back on an even keel before they start worrying about new wireless infrastructure,” Gillott said.
Manufacturing, in general, could start coming back in the United States because of the virus as companies question their supply chains and second think offshoring. That could bring opportunities in warehousing and storage.
Gillott plans to update the forecasts later this year as the pandemic and the economy in general come into greater focus.