As the industry that makes communication possible on a global scale, the telecommunications sector is a highly competitive and dynamic environment. Constantly adapting to technological developments and the changes to how people live and do business, the industry has evolved profoundly since its inception.
The industry is currently going through a transformational phase of development as telecoms companies have to climatise to new technological and cloud technology trends. From the first stages of communication technology to the development and now dominance of the internet, the industry has continuously evolved to ensure it is ahead of the game and can deliver the services that are so heavily demanded by consumers.
The industry has come a long way and will only continue to grow, adapt and expand. This article looks at the top five telecoms trends to look out for this year:
The market demand for high speed and reliable mobile internet connection is at its highest. Many telcos have already developed 5G infrastructure and we can expect to see big players in the industry enabling 5G networks between 2018 and 2020.
5G works on much lower frequencies that are far closer to earth – meaning the possibilities for this new wireless internet connectivity are endless. 5G is expected to be 1000x faster than current speeds and bandwidth available to us with Intel predicting it’s impact to be that of a “Data Tsunami”.
Just some of the possibilities with 5G include self-driving cars that have the potential to reduce pollution and congestion, smart cities relying heavily on connected devices and which can act with self-driving cars and the development of a new, more immersive breed of entertainment.
The threat of cyber attacks and cyber breaches is ever more prominent today. Last year, 43% of businesses reported that they had experienced a cyber security breach or attack. Telcos know that they need to protect more than just the data that is transferred over their systems.
Network infrastructure is becoming increasingly software-based which means that their infrastructure is as vulnerable to attacks as the data that is being sent through the network.
Network security is becoming more important than ever and we can certainly expect to see a transition to encryption from a niche technology, to a much more universally used technology.
Robots haven’t taken over – at least not yet. However, machine learning technology is beginning to creep into our lives more and more, affecting the way we live, work, and entertain ourselves. In the past year, the UK has launched an industry strategy that strictly sets out AI as a key area for development.
Just some examples of the ways we are using artificial intelligence in our lives is Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa which are both voice-activated computers that we can interact with daily. Netflix also use artificial intelligence to provide highly accurate predictive technology based on customers reactions to films.
The technology powering the development of artificial intelligence is getting smarter and smarter and the possibilities for the telecoms industry are endless. We can expect to see widely used customer service chatbots, speech and voice services for customers and predictive network maintenance.
The scope of devices that we can connect to the internet continues to grow – from wearable devices like smart watches to smart TVs, connected cars and speech assistants. And the way we live our lives is changing due to these ‘smart devices’.
But what does this mean for the telecoms industry? Well, companies in the industry will begin to benefit more from working in partnership with their customers to generate value for both parties – through thinking about long term expectations and co-creation.
Telecom networks are likely to be the cement that holds together the internet of things. Customers around the world increasingly are using the mobile interface to connect to their many devices and services – the telecoms system is the glue that gives customers this freedom and control over their lives and devices.
The telecoms industry is highly competitive and with new technological innovations disrupting the needs of customers year-on-year, many companies within the sector are looking to partner up with media and entertainment firms like AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner.
Also, telecoms companies are looking to merge with other companies within the industry that may have a different product offering in order to expand their potential customer base.
The industry is experiencing an influx of mergers and acquisitions on a global scale which will enable companies to be much more competitive as the industry continues to expand to growing demands.
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