The telecommunications industry is witnessing one of the most turbulent times: The rapid evolution in mobile technologies such 5G and SD-WAN that are showing immense potentials are intensifying the competition in the market, and also paving the way for new entrants and niche players to enter the fierce competition while established players look forward to coming together to stay relevant.
Simultaneously, some of the market giants working toward boosting their profitability and encouraging their customers to connect more endpoints. From mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to cutting-edge technologies and applications, mentioned below are some of the biggest technology trends to watch out for the telecommunications industry that will influence the market in 2020.
We live in a world of ubiquitous connectivity. 2019 was set to be another pivotal year for mobile technologies, with 5G promising some potential transformations. Some examples of this include the EU’s implementation plans for uninterrupted 5G by the end of 2025 for major roads and railways.
5G is set to transform the telecom landscape by delivering lower latency, faster connections, greater capacities, as well as enabling network slicing. Moreover, it has led to a hundredfold increase in connected devices per each unit area. The race to implement 5G has resulted in the birth of new services, customer experience, and network operation.
5G will bring a drastic change in the telecom sector: In addition to being technology distributors, the telecom giants are also moving toward becoming service providers. This transformation will need telecoms to collaborate and partner with governments, enterprise customers, and modify their sales strategy to help customers utilize the potential of 5G.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and its applications are already in use in numerous aspects of the telecommunications business today. More and more telecom giants are investing in potential and emerging technologies in order to improve their customer service and satisfaction via automation, which includes virtual assistants and chatbots. As these applications are emerging, more and more telecom providers are deploying AI and machine learning (ML).
AI is fundamental for the enhancement and predictive maintenance of telecom giants’ networks. The cutting-edge technology is likewise identifying fraudulent activity. Moreover, through predictive analytics, AI makes it possible for telecoms to gather significant business insights from immense volumes of data they gather each day.
Telecom companies are responsible for collecting and generating huge volumes of data from wireless devices, wearables, and more, and it has been expected that the amount of data will continue to increase through the 2020s, giving a competitive edge to the companies that leverage the data. Telecom companies need to make sure that their networks are capable of transferring huge volumes of data in an efficient manner and continue to deploy new technologies.
In addition, they need to solve the security challenges that come with the deployment of new technologies that use their networks. The data generated can thus be evaluated to improve customer experience, determine and review new products, along with monitoring and streamlining the network. All things considered, big data can add profitability to telecom companies.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interconnected devices that are already connecting the vast majority of the world’s citizens with wireless device connectivity enabled by the telecom industry, making it one of the largest players in the IoT market. Every other device is connected to one another and the internet nowadays. As a matter of fact, this technology is helping telecom companies to monitor base stations and data centers in remote locations.
Since telecom is helping build the foundation for IoT, the industry is certainly poised to build and offer their own services for IoT. Since this technology brings more gadgets on the network, there are more opportunities for security and privacy breaches to happen; hence, telecoms need to reconsider their security practices and prepare the safety mechanisms accordingly. While there are still a lot of questions with respect to the change IoT will have for telecoms, there's little uncertainty that it will disrupt the business.
The Pay-per-Use service model offered by cloud computing technology helps the telecom companies to introduce new services, improve scalability, reduce their costs, and provide effective solutions as per the requirements.
Cloud provides immediate online access to a range of resources that leads to economies of scale, cost-effectiveness, and scalability to telecoms. This helps telecoms to not only be cloud service providers but also be the cloud itself. Telecom companies embracing cloud technology and its services, as well as switching its business functions to the decentralized storage platform, can add profitability to their businesses
The Bottom Line
The advent of Industry 4.0 will bring forth a lot of trends that will shape the future of the telecommunications industry. However, trends emerging in the 5G, IoT, cloud computing, and AI space will be the ones to revolutionize and transform the telecom sector through the 2020s. With 5G as the fundamental driver given its high speeds, low latency, and faster data transfer rates, we can expect to see more political and security moves by governments seeking to safeguard their telecom strengths as a significant asset for national and economic growth.