By 2025, there will be 975 million Internet and broadband users: Sanjay Kaul, Cisco

Voice&Data recently organised the 20th Annual Telecom Leadership Forum on 24th March.

Telecom leaders along with stakeholders from India and across collaborated to meet, discuss, and explore new and explore new and emerging business models, technology options, revenue streams and changing customer expectations. Over the years, the platform has also evolved as the confluence of policymakers, thinktank, and the executioners to come together and set the direction for the growth of the industry.

During the inaugural session, Sanjay Kaul, President APAC & Japan, Service Providers Business, Cisco, delivered the keynote. He spoke about bridging the digital divide and the Internet for the future. Over the last one year, the world has taken a big shift, and changed forever. Digital has taken the fast track route. All are pivoting to digital as the way of doing their business, as a way of operating and sustaining, and growing. The post-pandemic scenario will see the majority of the businesses having a portion of their businesses, as the way it was before. WFH, play or PFH, and study or SFH, will all remain. They are also pushing the key indicators from the telecom perspective.

He said that they believe in India the bandwidth demand will continue to grow. There will be about 975 million Internet and broadband users by 2025. There will be an impact on digitization, followed by the growth of 5G, IoT, Wi-Fi 6, etc. This is what you need in your networks to really sustain and deliver. We see the service providers’ priorities really shift across four areas.

* They need to re-imagine their apps. Apps was an extension of how they ran their business. We are moving into an era where the apps are the business. That’s one priority to be sorted out.

* They need to fast track the transformation of their infrastructure. As they are coping with getting their 4G networks up to speed, they need to ensure that 5G gets embraced, and the transformation of their networks is such that the network has the ability to offer digital value.

* Another important priority is securing the data that is also connected and ubiquitous. Data is going beyond connecting people, and it is digitizing everything. There is a lot of action happening. Security is as important as the last IoT device that connects to the data. Security gets extended to every part of your network.

* Telcos are using technologies such as AI/ML, automation, etc., into every process. In this era of Industry 4.0, money would be made through visibility into the networks, and what your customer collections mean.

When all this is in place, the true avataar of the Internet will begin. The power of Wi-Fi 6, 5G, IoT and automation will come together. It will force us to adopt to the new normal. There will be many new participants. Many have still not connected. We will also see our networks getting extended all the way up to the enterprise verticals in the pursuit of making those verticals efficient, and in the pursuit of digitizing those industry verticals.

There will be new foundations for the economies, the societies, and the government that go on to embrace this digitization. All of these three elements can be powered by the future networks. It calls for truly looking at the transformation. There can be four different tasks for the telcos to do.

The first is to flatten the network. Networks have got built over the years. There is huge complexity in these networks. There is huge space for energy consumption, space consumption, etc. Using 5G and evolution to digital, we should try to flatten the networks. We can converge the cores, the IP and optical, taking on the journey to automation, etc.

There should also be data center transformation. There is the need to create the multi-service edge. Security should be ubiquitous and connected. Lastly, we need to have secure access. That will bring confidence to the enterprise verticals. That is where monetization will also happen.

There should also be uberization of networks. We should evolve to ones that are agile, instant, and enabling self care. We should also ensure end-to-end security and connectivity, as we move to the new era of 5G and IoT.

Cisco is doing things in this environment. We are looking to redefine the new customer economics. We are looking to help increase your revenues with new B2B motion and new B2C opportunities. It is also about reducing cost by redefining the network architectures, reducing the complexities, and automating, wherever you can. We are also looking at de-risking businesses.

We have stepped up the game in terms of innovation. We have done so across four fronts. Bringing in technologies that will help converge SDN transports. We are bringing in routed optical networks that help bring convergence from chassis-based systems to pluggables. It will help you reduce the complexities. We are seeing capex and opex getting reduced by 40%. We are investing in 5G cloud services which will help you improve subscriber and customer experiences. It will help you create new opportunities for every enterprise vertical that benefits from digitization. We are also bringing the service edge, shifting it closer to the device. We are improving the user experience, and reducing deployment times.

We are gearing up to partner with you in this journey. Our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all. We have an unique opportunity to create a difference in this world. We can build a better, equitable future for everyone. It is about you impacting positively every citizen of India. The whole ecosystem can thrive in this coming decade.

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