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Top 10 risks for Telecommunications in 2024

Firms should aim to be "the best versions of themselves" in what promises to be another challenging year.

February 1, 2024

EY Law 

  • Data protection, ethics and governance top the risk agenda for telcos, driven by cybersecurity threats and governance needs around generative AI.
  • It is vital that telcos respond effectively to cost-of-living pressures on their customers, 49% of whom say pricing changes are difficult to understand.
  • Risks related to skills, sustainability, business models, network quality and workforce culture are also among the industry’s priorities for action.
The telecommunications industry occupies a unique position at the nexus of technological change, geopolitical tension, economic change and social development. As a result, it has a universe of risk that is arguably more complex and changing than any other sector.

Macroeconomic headwinds, ranging from cost-of-living shocks to ongoing supply chain disruption, pose a continuing threat to financial resilience and stability. New technologies, from generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) to standalone 5G, raise new questions around business resilience and service innovation. Meanwhile, business transformation initiatives are expanding in scale and scope. Sustainability is now an important board-level consideration, while diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives and hybrid work models continue to transform ways of working. The industry value chain is also changing, as infrastructure disintegration and consolidation reshape telecom market structures.

Against this backdrop of rapid change, we have focused our attention on the year ahead. Here we have identified what we see as the top 10 risks facing the sector in 2024 and explored strategies to mitigate them.



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