Discussion paper

Short Term Effects of COVID-19 on Digital Infrastructure in Emerging Markets

December 14, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the value of digital connectivity and has had numerous and at times contrasting effects on the digital infrastructure sector. Among these effects are an increased demand for quality digital connectivity, driven by falling telecommunications prices in certain countries and an increase in network capacity in others, set against a backdrop in emerging markets (EMs) of a digital divide that pre-dated the pandemic. This note leverages data from industry sources and an IFC survey of digital infrastructure companies to assess the short-term effects of COVID-19 on digital infrastructure in emerging markets. The note concludes with a discussion of emerging trends and their implications for public policy and corporate and investment strategies in support of the development of the digital infrastructure sector in emerging markets in the recovery phase of the pandemic and beyond.


  • Key Findings
  • Understanding the Short-Term Effects of COVID on Digital Infrastructure
  • Global Emerging Markets Trends
  • Regional Emerging Markets Trends
  • Financing Trends
  • Case Studies
  • Emerging Trends and Way Forward