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Top 5 trends in the Telecom Industry

The telecom industry has evolved rapidly in the last two decades. The advancements are happening at a continuous pace. So, what are the major trends that will drive the industry in 2021?

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Trend #1: 5G

5G is all about reliably connecting things everywhere without any delays. This ultrafast connection will enable people to measure, understand and manage things in real time. The 5G technology will enable businesses to get real-time insights like never before. With the use of this technology businesses will have total control over their products, services and assets. 

It is estimated that 5G will generate $700 billion in economic value. Leading telecom companies are in advanced stages of acquiring the technologies and licenses for 5G rollout. However, in today’s dynamic scenario, it is not enough for telecom companies to just provide a network. They must integrate 5G with advanced technologies like edge computing, IoT devices, etc. 

Trend #2: Internet of Things (IoT)

Telecom companies can amplify their service portfolio with a range of IoT-enabled services. IoT products and services will become especially useful as the 5G networks mature. IoT solutions such as smart metering can provide utility companies measurable value. Such solutions allow utilities to have easier access to information, and provide them with better ways to manage data. Using IoT, utility companies are able to drive their efficiency and lower operational costs. 

Integration of IoT & geospatial leads to better outcomes for the telecom companies. IoT devices can be used to monitor the telecom infrastructure and maintaining them. They continuously keep transmitting information about the health of assets and thus aid in quick resolve of issues and providing better services. They can help in early identification of equipment malfunction, power outages etc. and result in immediate action. 

Understanding these benefits, telecom services providers have already started leveraging the IoT technology. The technology is enabling the utility industry to achieve significant improvements in customer retention as well as customer acquisition. 

Trend #3: Edge computing

In telecom, edge computing is often referred as Mobile Edge Computing, MEC, or Multi-Access Edge Computing. Edge computing offers the benefits of low latency, high bandwidth, data offload and trusted computing and storage along with bringing the networking close to the end users. The networks are typically within or at the boundary of operator networks.

Edge computing also allows networks to be placed at enterprise premises, for example inside factory buildings, vehicles and homes. The communication service providers or other types of service providers can manage the edge infrastructure. Many times, use cases require different applications to be deployed at different sites. In such a scenario, a distributed cloud becomes useful. It can function as an execution environment for different applications spread over multiple sites. This includes managing connectivity as a single solution.

Research indicates synchronization of edge servers with telecommunications infrastructure presents an opportunity worth approximately $54 billion.

Trend #4: AI, ML

Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning are bringing new levels of efficiency in almost every industry. The story of telecommunications is no different. The expanding scope of 5G applications is likely to put a lot of demand on the networks; high availability, ultra-reliability, low latency and high security, being the main areas of focus. This growing complexity will drive the need for more automation. Intelligent agents capable of handling complex processes will be required to optimize a network in multiple steps.

 The next-generation wireless networks will use data science and machine learning for making predictions related to peak traffic and enhancing network capability. AI/ML based data analyticswill allow telecoms to boost network performance and reduce cost.

Trend #5: Cloud Computing

We are aware that the telecom industry was moving gradually with the cloud. However, cloud has become a priority for the sector due to the rise of 5G, pandemic initiated unprecedented spike in data traffic and rise in broadband services. Telecom companies are investing in modernizing their networks and shifting to virtualized and cloud architectures. The telecom cloud market, which was valued at $25.33B in 2020, is expected to reach $74.36B by 2026.

The shift is desirable since cloud computing helps telecom companies to be scalable, resilient and better prepared for disasters. The company can face data loss due to a power outage at a data center or a security breach. However, if it has backups of databases stored in the cloud, the data can be quickly restored. Use of cloud also helps in reducing costs. 

The cost of setting up and managing a data center is high as it involves the cost hardware, software, servers, energy bills, IT experts, etc. This cost is significantly reduced with cloud infrastructure, since the company only pays only for the services it uses. Data management, sharing data and data analysis for important insights becomes much easier with cloud. 

Better control over operations automatically lead to enhanced customer experience with cloud computing as it helps in minimizing latency, providing automated customer support, predicting customer preferences and offering new digital experiences.

Conclusion

Telecoms are shaping a new reality for companies by leveraging the strength of advanced technologies like 5G, edge computing, artificial intelligence etc. We are excited to be a part of this growth story which is drastically changing the way we communicate and exchange information. 

Also Read: Spatial Intelligence is at the Centre Stage