Top 5 Trends in Telecom Industry
The telecommunication industry is going through the transformational phase of development. The migration from legacy systems to the new technological and cloud trends has been the major challenge of the last two decades. We will discuss about this in our next post.
The paradigm shift started with the focus on Communication Technology (CT) which can be marked as the first wave of the information era. The second phase started around the year 2000 known as the internet phase. The industry realigned it self around horizontal solutions during this phase. This was the boom of e-commerce & portals.
After the year 2006, the third phase of transformation started taking shape and telcos started investing in cloud infrastructure. Now it’s the year 2020 and we are in the midst of era of cloud infrastructure. With this transformation a whole new world of opportunities has opened up & seeing the trend it is evident that this era is unstopable and there is no escape.
With every rising opportunity there is a challenge as well. Migration to Cloud resulted in many challenges for telco’s like Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), microservices. Most importantly Telco’s need to realign their business strategies and restructure themselves as per the cloud era, in terms of but not limited to operations, architecture and networks. In order to gain a competitive edge of the competitors, they need to focus on providing customized solutions to their customers and focusing on developing long-term relations with them.
5G Networks – The telecom carriers are working on providing the 5G networks to spark an enormous wave of faster internet. While the technology has not yet been fully defined, carriers are proceeding with the lab and field trials in their race to stay competitive.
The full, mass-market 5G coverage is expected by approximately 2020.
Secure and reliable services– Modern telecom environment offers a rich set of services that need reliable and secure authentication. The number of smartphones equipped with biometric fingerprint readers is increasing. This technology is also being used by retailers, financial institutions, government, and even schools, to verify identities.
Other biometric mechanisms like facial or retinal recognition, are also telecom trends and are likely to pick up steam in the coming years. An increasingly large number of telecom companies are adopting biometric SIM cards for curbing crimes related to mobile phones and terrorist attacks as well.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)– The addition of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to smartphones will bring the next shift in technology, according to Huawei, in an article by ZDNet.
AI allows smartphones to perform highly sophisticated functions such as augmented reality (remember Pokémon Go), speech recognition, indoor navigation, and even learning the daily tasks and preferences of an individual to enable digital assistants like Siri and Alexa.
Customer service chatbots, like CenturyLink’s ‘sales assistant’, speech and voice services for customers where they can explore or buy content by speaking, traffic classification, network optimization and orchestration, and predictive network maintenance, like AT&T’s self-healing and self-learning hardware that’s powered by artificial intelligence are among some AI applications that are used by the leading players and are among the emerging trends in the telecommunication sector.
Internet of Things– Although mentioned above as part of challenges faced by telecom industry due to the huge amount of data that connected devices generate, but this is one major trend that will provide telcos with more opportunities in the coming years. Becoming an IoT connectivity service provider and offering Machine to Machine (M2M) devices can open up new streams of revenue for the telcos.
Gartner predicts that there will be nearly 20 billion devices connected to the IoT by 2020 and that IoT product and service suppliers will amount to a business of $300 billion in revenue.
As per a survey, the telecom sector ranks fourth as far as spending on IoT technology is concerned. Making software-based updates to their products and services has been rated as the top business process improvement by telecom companies. Other business improvements are providing customized marketing campaigns, improving customer segmentation, and providing better service.
IoT can be used for improving the operational efficiency with remote monitoring and management of equipment, IT infrastructure, getting better security with IoT enabled intrusion detection system and protection of remote sites by the telcos.
Mergers & Acquisitions– With cut-throat competition, new technological innovations disrupting the existing customer base, the year doesn’t seem to be very easy for the telecommunication sector. That’s why a number of companies are looking to partner with media and content firms, like AT&T’s proposed merger with Times Time Warner Inc.