The dynamic changes that the world of technology has experienced in this decade call for fast adaptation and innovation from the telecom industry as well. Telecommunications companies play a crucial role in connecting people and businesses, therefore many changes are required to remain competitive and to satisfy the demands of their customers.
The deployment of the 5G network, the ever-increasing amount of data that is generated in this industry and security breaches caused by cyberattacks are pressing problems that telecommunications companies are currently dealing with. Digital transformation is vital to provide them with fast and effective solutions to these problems. In this article, I look at four of the most promising digitalisation trends in the telecom industry that are expected to drive innovation and change in the coming years.
Cloud Computing – An Engine for Telcos to Build Scalable and Managed Services
The efficiency and flexibility offered by cloud computing have already driven major industries such as healthcare, finance and automotive into storing and processing their data using cloud services. A similar trend can be observed in the telecommunications industry as well, where the utilisation of cloud services is expected to almost triple between 2019 – 2025 to an estimated value of $50 billion. But why is cloud computing so important for telecom companies and how can they benefit from it?
Whether using Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or a combination of the 3, switching to cloud computing will allow telcos to become more flexible. This flexibility will allow them to reduce costs that rise from server equipment, server update and maintenance, and other hardware. Reducing the time and cost associated with on-site data management will free up resources to focus on technology innovation, product development and customer service.
Big Data-driven Innovation Enabling Telcos Optimised Performance
In a data-driven world, telecommunications companies are uniquely situated in their access to extensive amounts of valuable user information. Big data can be utilised to improve customer service, tailor personalised marketing campaigns and most importantly, drive innovation by creating new products. Product development teams can utilise the information that is obtained from analysing customer’s behaviour and preferences to create packages and bundles that are more appealing for their clients.
In addition to product development, big-data also helps telcos to optimise their network performance. An example here would be the use of predictive failure analysis to identify proactive network upgrades. This eliminates customer downtime thereby improving customer satisfaction and retention while also reducing the administrative costs of managing complaints and outages.
Cyber Security – Ensuring Safer Networks and Infra for Telcos
With the rapid advancements in technology and the explosive rate at which businesses are becoming more digitally enabled, telcos have had to evolve and adapt to ever-changing risks and their obligations around cyber-security. A report published by the security provider EfficientIP revealed how vulnerable telecommunications companies are to cyber attacks, especially against DNS attacks. Their survey revealed that telecom companies suffer more attacks than any other industry with an average of 4 attacks in a 12month period. The size and complexity of telco DNS infrastructure also saw the industry with the slowest mitigation time and highest costs for cyber-breach damages. Some in excess of $5M.
Telecommunications companies retain extensive personal and sensitive information about their customers and as the digital world continues to develop novel security, threats that target such data will always be present. Considering both the potential costs and brand damage resulting from a cyber-attack, telcos are looking for solutions to effectively optimise and simplify their infrastructure to achieve more secure networks.
Artificial Intelligence – Simplifying Telecos Operations with Automation
The increasing use of and dependence on Artificial Intelligence has increased immensely in the tech world and it is rapidly expanding across various major industries, including telecommunications. The implementation of artificial intelligence by telcos can significantly improve their customer service performance and improve operational efficiency and productivity with the automation of repetitive tasks.
A successful application of artificial intelligence in the industry has been the utilisation of customer service bots and virtual assistants. By using bots, telcos are now able to respond quickly to their customer’s queries and provide time-efficient solutions for their problems.
Offering advanced and reliable services, enhanced customer service, increasing the client base and keeping their data safe from cyber-attacks are some of the key goals of every telecom company. Embracing digital transformation and exploring their data science resources to the fullest is certainly a must to maintain and grow their businesses.
The Future of Telecommunications: Way-forward
The rapid changes in technology and customer demands have increased the future uncertainty for the telecommunications industry but at the same time, the opportunities at hand are much greater today than they were before. Telecom companies by implementing some of the above-mentioned technologies have the potential to transform how this industry operates.