India is going to witness major investments by the communications service providers in the next few years to upgrade their networks. Indian networks will need to be agile, flexible, intelligent, programmable, and adaptive to delight the consumers and to also grow in an extremely competitive market.
Surviving and thriving in today’s digital world requires telcos in India to rethink their approach to networking. As one of the world’s biggest economies and home to more than one billion people, a modernized network is the only way service providers will be able to keep up with consumers that are constantly on the go and demand best-in-class service.
A case in point is the growing consumption of video content, which is the key driver of mobile data consumption. In fact, monthly data consumption per smartphone will increase from 6.8GB in 2018 to 15GB by 2024, growing at CAGR of 14 percent, according to the recently released Ericsson Mobility Report. The report further says that by 2024, India will have more than one billion smartphones and 80 percent of users are expected to have LTE connections.
Rapidly changing consumer needs driving new demands of service providers
This kind of growth calls for more dynamic and programmable network architectures. As the number of smartphones and data consumption increases, subscribers are going to demand better and superior experience. Telcos need to prepare for this phase so they are in a position to deliver innovative products and best-in-class services to their subscribers.
Research firm Ovum forecasts that the mobile broadband growth will ensure India will continue to be the fastest growing packet optical market through 2022. Ovum predicts a 11.4 percent CAGR driven by 4G and future 5G growth. Packet optical market is going to witness huge traction in the coming years.
As mentioned earlier, video is a key driver of mobile broadband in India. The growing popularity of long-format videos is further going to put the networks under pressure and telcos will need to change their strategy to maintain quality. This will be the primary reason for the growth of edge networking in the coming year. As the popularity of low-latency applications, services, and games increases, service providers will need to adapt network architectures to reduce latency, which is crucial in maintaining the user experience.
Further, over the next 5 years – as applications move to the network edge – a number of data centers will come up to send content and apps to the end subscriber over a short distance. This approach, or Edge Cloud, will allow Indian service providers to reduce latency and enhance the overall quality of experience for subscribers.
We are also going to witness greater focus on network automation enabled by advanced software capabilities. As an example, software analytics allow the network to examine all the data points and activity taking place and determine the best course of action to ensure user demands are met. In 2019, software will be key, especially in the Indian market as it is one of the most hypercompetitive markets in the industry. In fact, Gartner forecasts that IT spending on software will grow 12.9 percent to USD 6.3 million in 2019.
Network transformation imperative for the next phase of growth
There is an explosion in network demand in India, being driven by heightened user expectations as they become increasingly mobile and want the ability to consume high-definition content, video, and applications when and where they choose. These demands are only intensified by the growth of IoT, 5G, and cloud-based services. Today’s legacy networks are slow and can not handle the growing demands on provider’s networks.
India is going to witness major investments by the communications service providers in the next few years to upgrade their networks. Indian networks will need to be agile, flexible, intelligent, programmable, and adaptive to delight the consumers and to also grow in an extremely competitive market. These investments will also prepare Indian networks for upcoming technologies such as IoT and aligns with the Digital India initiative of the Indian government.
As user demands continue to skyrocket and the volume of devices and data continues to surge, legacy systems deployed in other parts of the world are under incredible pressure to keep up. Being a greenfield market, India has the luxury of not needing to spend a significant amount of resources on legacy infrastructure. India is in an excellent position to leapfrog the rest of the world and invest in the latest innovations much quicker and more efficiently, paving the way toward the network of the future.