In the face of subscribers’ growing expectations and a demanding business community that relies on robust telecoms for their own digital initiatives, communications service providers (CSPs) are continuing to transform what they do and – even more important – how they do it.
Nowadays, CSPs’ remit goes way beyond classical telecoms: they are looking to become a one-stop shop for their customers to increase ARPU and boost subscribers’ loyalty. Effective monetisation of new services is a challenge CSPs should take on to stay competitive.
Igor Gorkov, CEO at Nexign, looks at the five technology trends he believes will affect the telecom industry in 2020:
The race for 5G profits. In 2020, 5G networks will launch in many parts of the world. Unlike in the case of previous generations of mobile networks, with infrastructure technologies reaching their maturity, CSPs will compete on user experience and monetisation models rather than connection reliability and coverage area. The extreme case is the shared 5G infrastructure that all players are jointly building in some markets to save money and get GR negotiating power. When the network CSPs are using is quite literally the same, implementing the most effective BSS/OSS and monetisation systems will be critical for market differentiation and the fastest return on investment.
eSIMs lowering the barriers. With wider support on the consumer equipment side and increasing awareness, eSIMs will make hopping between mobile networks about as easy as switching to another WiFi hotspot. This will force leading CSPs to compete on service quality and take advantage of new distribution channels by connecting to emerging eSIM-ready marketplace platforms. In doing so, they must be sure they are technically ready for the new methods of eSIM provisioning and support, so that more future-oriented runners-up don’t leave them behind.
Paint it green. During the big data bang a decade ago, everyone tried to collect all the data points they could, resulting in exabytes of dormant and barely used information burdening data centres across the planet. With the environmental impact of this wastefulness becoming a bigger issue, CSPs will try and take a wiser approach to the information they collect and process, and will look for ways to move from immense data lakes to more streamlined data-driven solutions, becoming more cost-efficient and eco-friendly at the same time.
The IoT economy. With billions of new devices ready to connect to CSPs’ networks thanks to government-initiated and independent rollouts, CSPs will need to provide sufficient capacity to support this enormous quantity of low-cost connections without sacrificing service quality for traditional subscribers. Introducing new lightweight technologies such as NB-IoT and NIDD at all levels of their infrastructure will be key to meeting expectations of ubiquitous smart device connectivity.
Partner ecosystems on a global scale. The search for new monetisation models will create demand for deeper partner integration. Whether CSPs choose vertical integration or utilise external partnerships, a technology stack with strong integration capabilities will be essential for their strategy. This includes decentralised marketplaces for roaming services and two-way OTT and financial service integration for a seamless customer experience.