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The Future of Telecom Industry

The most promising future trends of the telecommunications industry. Find out here how to adapt, change and evolve telecommunications companies to stay competitive and relevant.

Improvise, adapt, overcome – this legendary meme could be an excellent motto for the telecommunication industry today and for years to come. The time when the telecom industry was booming simply by offering calls and messaging is long gone. Each day new technologies emerge, and new devices are entering the market. The digital transformation took over enterprises and smaller organizations, the competition in the telecom sector has risen, and the average customers' needs have changed – these are just a few indicators proving that, like any other business, adaptation and flexibility are the key traits for telecom companies to embrace and foster.

But things are not all bad. While there's a noticeable decline in many aspects, the market continues to grow. The amount of subscribers is rising and, in some parts of the world, there are more mobile phones than people. Just three years ago, in 2019, the telecom market was valued at $1,75 trillion. Experts forecast that number to increase by 5% before 2027.

Let's not forget about the coronavirus pandemic, which dramatically influences every industry in the world. Telecom has weathered it better than many others but was still deeply affected and will continue to be disrupted by it in the future.

Telecommunication Future Trends

A person pressing a button of a portable speaker

One can not talk about the future of telecom without mentioning the 5G and its tremendous influences on everything that is happening in the industry. It impacts bandwidth, dependability, and high-speed connectivity. Also, it raises the need for value-added services, IoT value, better customer service, and end-to-end solutions demand. All of these create enormous opportunities for growth. But every stick has two ends, and the other end is the challenges connected to the competition.

Another emerging trend is the private networks. Many enterprises and organizations are considering developing private cellular networks that can bring much more convenience, safety, and broader possibilities for integration with internal services. So far, the terms and mechanics for such solutions are incredibly vague. Still, the innovation in ongoing and telecom industry players have to foresee these indications as a chance to grab the most significant share of an emerging market.

Not exactly a trend, but a topic widely discussed across enterprises and organizations is the cyber threat brought by 5G and its expansion. According to a Deloitte poll, roughly 80% of organizations' leaders consider 5G adoption security a top concern. Meaning that while the 5G carries endless possibilities for support of various types of devices of different performance and requirements, it can also bring data mismanagement due to the significant volumes of data transferred within it. Again, this is a major chance for service providers to step in with the solutions and grab the piece of the 5 G's decentralized security market, building the solutions based on their deep experience within the technology. The review of all the emerging telecommunication trends would take hours of reading, but there are a few exciting ones that we would like to take a closer look at.

5G and 6G

Although it may look like the vast majority of people employ cable-enabled connections to access the World Wide Web, a lot of users, especially Gen Z and Millenials, are utilizing the power of wireless telecommunication to surf the Internet. The research says that young people turn to mobile data almost twice as often as older generations. This trend was kickstarted by the introduction of affordable unlimited data plans. And while some of us use any chance we get to connect to Wi-Fi due to a stereotype that it's faster, the reality is that mobile connectivity is often as good and sometimes even better. The 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) is already swifter than many types of wired home connections and will likely surpass all of them in the nearest future. This will result in even more users choosing mobile network Internet over cable Wi-Fi networks. Moreover, the growing usage will shift the industry, increasing competition and pricing pressure.

6G is the sixth-generation cellular technology that is still in development. As a successor to 5G, it will have the ability to work with higher frequencies, offer much higher capacity and lower latency. Actually, 6G internet will be set to support one microsecond-latency communication. Location awareness, imaging, and presence technology will reach new heights once the 6G enters the market. Together with Artificial Intelligence (AI), they will evolve how computing works. They will independently decide the optimal place for computing processes, including where to store data. 6G will expand far beyond the performance of 5G and multiply the range of its capabilities. It means that more innovative solutions will use impeccable wireless connectivity, awareness, sensing and revolutionary imaging.

As for the launch of 6G, the forecasts vary based on its applications and country of development. China has already had some experience with launching 6G test satellites. But if we are talking about the 6G Internet, the experts suggest that the world will see it in 2030-2035. The delay is caused by the problems connected to deploying millimetre wave radio for 5G. Once those issues are resolved, 6G will become a part of our everyday life.

IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) and the telecommunication industry have become almost inseparable. Solutions like smart homes and self-driving vehicles became possible by employing telecom as an integral part of those applications. But while it may seem that telecom impacts the IoT more, their "friendship" is entirely mutual. IoT in telecom affects the interaction between humans and devices. Users receive innovative interfaces as telecom enhances services, products, networks, and operations. The global expansion of IoT brings telecom a large revenue channel by allowing it to develop new solutions that are mainly used for customer retention offerings. Telecom is predicted to gain as much as $1.8 trillion in revenue by 2026 utilizing IoT services. An interesting fact is that the current coronavirus pandemic has played a big role in this in advancing the IoT industry. Since many people began to spend much more time at home, companies started to re-imagine even the most simple home devices, making them smarter and allowing them to connect to a smart home network.

AI

AI usage in telecommunications is now thriving and will not slow down in the near future. Experts say that the global AI in the telecom market will reach as much as $14.98 billion in revenue by 2027. Why wouldn't it? Since the number of subscribers and the amount of data flowing through the cellular networks increases every day. That data is a priceless resource that, when applied to the right technology, can serve as a part of new innovative solutions or simply become a goldmine for marketing purposes. But there's more to AI and telecom than just utilizing the data. While the increase of data is good, it increases the amount of network equipment, making network management more difficult, expansive, and time-consuming. So telecom players employ AI to optimize and automate processes connected to network management. Another way AI is utilized is through conversational platforms, where virtual assistants handle customer requests autonomously. From simple YES and NO to mimicking entire conversations, chatbots dramatically decrease the support and sales load and increase the speed of service while doing all of it 24/7. For example, Vodafone informs that their customer satisfaction has risen by a whopping 68% after their virtual assistant was implemented.

 

So, when thinking about the future of the telecommunication industry, we can surely say that with the right tech partners and latest technologies, it will continue to evolve and thrive. Emerging innovations bring new ways of utilizing telecom tools. While 5G and its future to-be sister 6G are the key actors in the industry, other trends and technologies should not be taken lightly.

May 26,2022 ● 5 min read
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