2018 was a momentous year for the telecom industry. New trends enabled massive development and changed the landscape of this $3.1 billion industry. While we expect some of those trends to gain further momentum this year, there are also some fresh trends that are expected to steer the industry into new directions. Here are the top trends we predict will shape 2019:
Smart Cities are the future. Everyone who’s not living under a rock knows just how big Iot (Internet of Things) has come to be in the larger scheme of things today. Everything and everyone is connected by the internet in a more expanded way that was unimaginable just decade back. This year Iot connections worldwide are expected to reach a whopping 10 billion, of which an estimated 4 billion will be industrial. That’s right. Not surprisingly, a recent report by Gartner states that 70% of the world population is expected to live in cities by the year 2050. With this rapidly increasing demand for cities, industrial Iot connections are essential for improving the standards of urban living through smart cities powered using smart metering, lighting and heating amongst others. A number of countries like US and India have smart city projects on in full swing and with the looks of it, 2019 could be the year for the first truly smart city to come up. The only question that remains is who will be its proud pioneer.
Up until now, Blockchain was mostly linked with crypto-currency, more specifically Bitcoin. However, 2019 is the year when this technology will trickle into other industries including telecom, changing their business models for the better. With the advent of IoT & edge computing coupled with new business models and eco system partners, a strong need for device security has arose. That’s where Blockchain comes in – it not just simplifies these processes through transparency, efficiency and greater security but also help identify new digital revenue streams.
Coming to 5G– while commercially it won’t be available until 2020, this hasn’t deterred telecom companies from developing the infrastructure and starting field trials. Last year at the Olympics, Korean Telecom partnered with Intel to offer 5G streaming. Not far behind, American telecom company Verizon begun offering its 5G Home Broadband Service starting October, 2018. Overall, 25 companies across the globe are targeting launching 5G services in 2019. A lot of the excitement around 5G has been generated due to frenzied demand from both consumers and businesses. As a result, the government bodies too are pushing with equal fervour to meet the goal of launching 5G in a more widespread manner by 2020.
Last but definitely not the least, there’s consumer experience, the one factor determining the demand for all the previous points. The accelerated pace of change driven by consumer demand means telecom companies need to constantly be on their toes and continue to reinvent the wheel. Focussing only on network and technology simply will not work anymore. The companies that shine through this digital journey will be those that stay ahead of the curves, anticipate trends and offer a truly exceptional customer experience.