What’s New In The Telecom Industry? Summing-Up 2021 and Making Predictions for 2022
Updated: Jun 19
Recently, I concluded that all communications in the updated post-pandemic world rest on the shoulders of telecom. Don't think it wasn't the case before, but now we can observe a completely new scale of burden on the industry. Remote work, common cloud technology usage, rapid 5G deployment. - It seems that telecommunications have become a central link in building an agile business.
It became fascinating to me to analyze the retrospective and discover what trends are predicted by the telecom experts. If you also want to figure it out - scroll down, and let’s do it together.
3 Crucial Points Telecom Is Focused On Today
The pandemic has exposed weaknesses and opened up opportunities for development in every industry. It placed communication service providers (CSPs) at the center of events - their rightful place in a digitized society. Now, for every mid-size or large company, it is critical to find a reliable CSP for several reasons:
Spreading the work-from-home (WFH)
More than a half of responded specialists admitted they prefer WFH or hybrid work. Enterprises should use highly-scalable services for communication to ensure a positive employee experience (EX). They try to prioritize multiple broadband connections for cohesion and teamwork.
Companies need business continuity
I am a remote employee who needs access to corporate information from anywhere. I can't even imagine what collapse would be because of the lack of critical data or direct interaction with my team.
I am also a fan of online activities: shopping, obtaining necessary services like utility fees payment, etc. People will understand me because it is a trend and it is convenient after all.
This paradigm shift opens up lots of areas for business development. Enterprises need legacy system transformation and migration to new scalable technologies like never before. A fast-growing mainstream now is turning a traditional company into a distributed enterprise with a robust & flexible software base. Guess who will provide a connection ensuring data, services, and digital products accessibility? Telecom, of course. Businesses seek the support of CSP to retain clients and employees, empowering their companies.
It imposes a great responsibility on telecom. Because to be a catalyst for digital transformation for others, you need to start with yourself. Therefore, the first thing that CSPs cared about this year was the BSS / OSS transformation.
#1 Migration to the Cloud
Telco operators started their BSS cloud journey to become more flexible and transform their systems into next-generation networks (NGN). The competition in this segment is crazy, and many enterprises want to move with the times. According to a ResearchAndMarkets recent report, the overall global NGN OSS/BSS market will reach over $70 bln by 2026. In case of usage on-premise outdated software, companies cannot engage a large audience and will consequently go out of the way.
They should ensure scalable services for countless subscribers, processing terabytes of personal & corporate data. It’s arduous to deal with these without the cloud. Moreover, the technology allows companies to improve their business models, launch new services, support the 5G economy, etc.
Meanwhile, some companies are not ready to change their BSS right now. They are afraid of high costs, time-consuming procedures, and uncertain post-pandemic changes.
It's quite reasonable. But nobody migrates to the cloud in one shot. So, the above factors shouldn’t be an obstacle. The solution is a step-by-step transition to the new technology with parallel testing of its impact on business.
#2 BSS Modernization
Companies often don't need to change a source code to make their BSS “move”. But they definitely need software modernization to ensure business protection. Legacy systems are fragile, clumsy, and limited. They are a significant obstacle on the way to advanced communication service provision.
Each enterprise starts modernization or transformation if the business needs it. But now it needs it like air. But some companies felt the wind of changes even before the global crisis and took the first steps towards BSS modernization to launch new systems soon.
For example, VIVO, the leading operator in Brazil with 100 mln of subscribers, has a legacy BSS system that didn't cope with the company’s flow of requirements. It was back in 2018. “
It was a complex system, connecting CRM, ordering, etc. But it wasn’t 5G ready, it wasn’t ready for the cloud,” admitted Andre Kriger, CEO at VIVO. "If this system stops, the country stops too, since at least 80 mln of mobile customers will not be able to use data."
Business cooperated with Ericsson to fix this issue and rebuild the BSS, boosting it with several crucial features.
Why am I writing about it now? Because they are going to launch a final product in 2022. The whole 4 years of effort and VIVO subscribers will enjoy convenient interaction with the company soon.
I'm not saying it's too late for changes. I'm saying it's exactly the time since your competitors have been already boosting their infrastructures. To avoid any critical risks related to this process, you need to start modernization from the core BSS components and continue with less important ones. It might take years, but it will bring desirable results.
The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on. Media say we will have to wait for advanced 5G coverage for years, and companies now and then announce the availability of technology for new territories. This fall, T-Mobile boasted they had ensured 5G coverage for 200 mln Americans with Ultra Capacity 5G.
Governments have evolved from cautious observers to a force supporting 5G deployment. So, at this point, the CSPs engage subscribers. The leitmotif of this year was the alignment of 4G and 5G service fees. Companies reduce fees to spread 5G worldwide.
Moreover, they still manage to make money on technology in different ways. It has become the engine of cross-industries alliances and complex services creation. Telecom helps almost anyone by providing 5G. It is used by the HoReCa domain, retail, gaming industry, etc. Due to telecom companies' efforts, we can enjoy streaming services and watch baseball with a player's eyes.
A hot topic now is private 5G networks. Large enterprises think about their implementation because of a network customization opportunity, a high level of security, and bandwidth. Recently, AWS launched its Private 5G. The company reports that this product will be useful in healthcare, real estate, and manufacturing.
You may also like: Benefits of 5G Technology: What the World Expects
Do telecom companies care about the environment and comply with sustainability principles? And how! After all, it allows them to engage an audience, develop a brand and cooperate with other enterprises.
For example, Vodafone willingly shares its sustainability reporting, demonstrating its transparency. It strives to improve 1 billion lives and cut its corporate environmental impact by 50% by 2025. The company has partnered with Carbon Intelligence to launch the RedLovesGreen campaign, helping businesses and employees to reduce energy consumption. Enterprises have developed a system for motivating the people involved. For 1 year of activity, 16,000 employees have been supporting the initiative.
Meanwhile, Orange Nature launched a € 50 mln fund to invest in environment restoring projects.
Businesses try to provide a decent standard of living and communication for people in different regions. They work to reduce the consumption of resources and optimize their software & processes to become more eco-friendly.
Regardless of the reasons and drivers for such initiatives, an active policy of telecom companies will lead to a better future.
Top 3 Tech Trends for Telco Companies In 2022
Compliance with state regulations & Cybersecurity
Government is an ally for telecom when it comes to 5G spreading. But it also remains a regulator that protects the population.
Every year, new requirements concerning data security are added to the collection of acts & precedents. СSPs should be more careful in selling client information and do their best to prevent its leakage. The more pressure the government puts in, the more companies take the cybersecurity issue seriously.
The cloud, IoT, and Big Data carry significant risks breaching the law. Businesses will likely continue to improve security measures to comply with requirements and use Industry 4.0 technology simultaneously.
Telecom providers will not stop making infrastructure improvements. Companies will continue to invest in software upgrades and replacements due to internal issues and market pressures. Most of the resources will be required by the 5G deployment. Following the GSMA report, СSPs will spend over $ 1.1 trln between 2020 and 2025 in mobile CAPEX.
It means managers need to choose reliable software providers and tools to justify such a huge investment.
Open Radio Access Network (RAN) spreading
This topic gained popularity in 2020, continues to be relevant today, and, perhaps, will remain so forever. Open RAN is a sort of Open Source in telecom.
It allows separating hardware and software to create open interfaces between them. The initiative enables CSPs to build a cloud economy and achieve agility. Due to it, any-sized companies can customize networks and launch their services faster.
This technology will support competition as enterprises will be able to configure products from different vendors. Hybrid offer creation based on existing services will bring telecom to a new level. It opens up horizons for companies like Vodafone and Telefonica. Next year, Open RAN promises to bring a satisfied audience to a business and more quality services to subscribers.
Have you noticed that, over the past years, the telecom market has changed beyond recognition? Someone seems to be positively influenced by challenges. Companies are expanding their network of cooperation and providing tempting offers for end-users. But it is still far from perfection. So businesses continue to improve their digital infrastructure and achieve desirable results.
If you are looking for an experienced team to help you improve your telecom software base - drop us a line. Our experts gladly share their experiences and do their best to boost your business.