2020 is a classic example of how a market functions. How long-established business paradigms changed in a span of a few days. How the outbreak of the global pandemic replaced the outdated and unviable? It, therefore, showed the world that nothing is impossible. Now that 2021 is finally here, companies are focusing on planning their future again. Despite the pandemic-induced disruption, leaders are now identifying new ways that will lead to business recovery. And for telecoms, there is a lot to consider when it comes to leveraging future technological strategies.
In this regard, we’ve curated a list of the top tech trends that we think telecoms should expect to take center stage in the upcoming years.
5G Arrives (Take 2)
Up until the outbreak of the pandemic, there was much ‘hype’ and excitement around major telecom company’s plans to launch a faster, stronger, and better network connectivity. Yes, the 5G networks. However, this plan experienced a sudden hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, the coronavirus outbreak led to the rise in remote work. This has advanced the need for more robust 5G technologies around the world. Plus, Ericsson forecasts that there will be 3.5 billion 5G subscriptions by 2026. Thus, as teleconferencing and remote work are surviving and thriving in the new normal era, the need and demand for a faster and more reliable network to grow.
AI Continues to Drive Telco Innovations
The data-crunching capabilities of Artificial Intelligence are gradually been leveraged by telecom’s immense data streams. It is no secret that AI is revamping telecom’s customer service (via chatbots, Natural Language Processing, and AI-enhanced communication systems) thereby, providing customer satisfaction. On the business end, AI is managing with churn prediction and mitigation as well as new product/service analytics. So it’s no surprise to see many telecoms give priority to investing in AI this year.
Smarter Cities, Businesses, and Homes Present New Opportunities
An interesting development that is taking place is the rise of data-connected cities. Many major cities across the globe rely on device data for things like real-time security systems like crime information, traffic pattern analysis, smart traffic lights, and more. Internet of Things is playing a game-changing role. Talking about telecom, it expands the universe of telecommunications with more and more customers seeking connectivity between the outside world and their personal lives. It will help combine connectivity, data, analysis, security, mobile, and cloud to support several businesses.
See the Dawning of the SONs
SONs – or self-optimized networks – are networks that can self-optimize, configure, and heal. Such networks ease CAPEX and OPEX planning and enhance the deployment of mobile broadband. Primarily, the networks rely on algorithms and network data analysis to adjust configuration parameters as needed. But to meet the challenge of modern including very complex networks requires the collecting, processing, and analyzing data – another area where AI will play a dominant role in the telecoms.
Yes, My Glasses Are Connected to the Internet
The mobile device category is looking to lead the way in design innovation in 2021. For instance, you may soon come across foldable smartphones or multi-display devices. The idea is to build smaller, lighter devices that serve two purposes: fit easily into a pocket and at the same time provide a luxurious big screen. Thus, innovation on this front is gearing up. Coupled with advances in manufacturing and materials that have made foldable smartphones relatively affordable as well as durable.
Similarly, the rapid internet penetration is increasing and mobile data speeds going up. This is leading people to become ever more open to using smartwatches, eyeglasses, rings, and bracelets as portals to the web. And with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) incessantly gaining traction amongst consumers and brands alike.
AR, VR, and OTT Offerings Emerge
OTT services are already well established in the telecom space. Now, the most interesting thing to note here is how telecom is leveraging AR and VR in entertainment and gaming services. They are gradually expanding from offering streaming movies to VR gaming services. Pragmatically, AR and VR solutions can also be used for remote maintenance and repair work as well as for marketing and sales purposes.
In nutshell, in 2021 and throughout this decade, technology will increase rapidly and telecoms will have to keep innovating to keep up with the pace. While this development is taking place, the companies should focus on investing in building a network and services that will meet customers’ high expectations.
-Mr. Suhale Kapoor, Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Absolutdata