The theme for the 52nd edition of the IET India Digital Conversations held recently was From Telcos To Technos. CT was the media partner.
The discussion was spirited and extremely exciting.
Over 130 industry experts, digital technology stakeholders and decision makers from Verizon, Atkins, Subex, Siemens, TCS, Huawei, Louis Berger Consulting, AT&T, Vodafone Idea, HPE, Nokia, Microchip, Ericsson, Pega Systems, Wipro, Grant Thornton, KPMG, Sprint Telecom, Infosys, Qualcomm, Livsense, Sequretek, Accenture, Bharti Infratel, Capgemini, Jacobs Engg, Bechtel, JUPEM Malaysia, Stodia Inc USA, Bureau of IT Lagos, Leonardo UK and many more attended the session.
In addition to the delegates from India, there were delegates from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, UK, Nigeria, US, UAE, Sweden, American Samoa, Australia, Qatar, Iraq, Myanmar and Poland.
Telecom industry contributes 6% to the overall GDP of India. Telcos will play an integrated role in digital transformation and add even more significantly to the GDP.
$5 trillion invested by communication service providers between 2002 and 2022.
There is a growing performance gap between telecom operators and big tech companies. Given this, it is important for telcos to evolve or morph themselves into a technology company.
The key considerations for telcos to transform to technos are:
- Providing digital customer experience;
- Building platform based business models;
- Cloud transformation;
- ystem and process automation;
- Co creation of vibrant offerings based on customer needs; and
- Considering 5G as an enabler in the telco to techno journey.
Telcos have always been uniquely positioned as an enabler and connectivity but with the advent of 5G globally there has been a shift from the B2C play to a more formidable B2B play innovative products and solutions. B2B2B and B2B2C journey is the future.
Telcos are going through their journey and will need to have an edge in terms of using technology which is customer facing. Longer the legacy, larger the challenge to embrace transformation but that is the logical next step. Migrate, modernise and monetise- this should be the mantra.
Future is going to be technology and telcos will need to have an ecosystem that can support platformisation, hypercloud, IoT, Celular Priority Access Service (CPAS) and driving their own ad-tech revenue.
Some of the things that Indian telcos can learn from foreign telcos includes adaptability of cultural transition, data monetisation, focusing on network side of cloud (cloud convergence) and thinking differently when it comes to working with partner ecosystems. Telcos need to wear the hat of a system integrator as well.
We know enterprise IT world is based on IT infra, Data application and network infrastructure. Increasingly all these three pillars have increasingly been more software defined and data powered. In this ever changing scenario the classical role of telcos need to be driven by digital first approach and a cloud native approach to pivot to becoming a network centric technology solution provider.
Telcos need to recognise software defined networking (providing edge to edge intelligence on the network), convergence of network and security and using cutting edge tech in their own operations (use AI and ML for automation). India needs to have patience for technologies such as 5G which has huge potential for industrial and enterprise application however, gestation period is a little longer.
Telcos need to drive specific ecosystem partners for specific use cases: ideate, innovate and collaborate. Startups are very inquisitive in adopting 5G and most telcos are getting into such strategic partnerships already. Top 5 Industries for 5G adoption in order of priority: Manufacturing, Healthcare, Energy, Telecom Media and Entertainment and Logistics and transportation.