The utilization of technological advancements is not new in any operating sector around the globe, and telecom is no exception. And building on the Indian context, it is a quite ironic but pretty evident fact as on how telecom will be laying stepping stones for Smart India – with great emphasis on AI, ML; AR, VR, and quite a few more abbreviations that can be related to this world of automation – accounting the verity that telcos are yet to see profits in their books.
The competitive pricing in the B2C segment has taken aback many telecom operators in India, with Jio bringing in the revolution that ended up with a handful of competitors in the market that continue to struggle. GOI’s relief package has helped alleviate the growing tension in the telecom sector, which is expected to protect and generate job opportunities, promote healthy competition, protect consumer interests, infuse liquidity, encourage investment, and reduce the regulatory burden on telecom service providers. The package is also intended to enhance 4G adoption, inject money, and create a favorable environment for 5G network investment.
The GoI has also released the list of 31 companies that have qualified for the PLI for telecom and networking products manufacturing in India. These 31 applicants are projected to invest `3345 crore over the next four years, employing more than 40,000 people and producing roughly `1.82 lakh crore in total over the scheme’s duration. It will help reduce India’s dependence on other countries to import telecom and networking products and serve as another inclusion in the realization of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Enterprise competition is likely to heat up as 5G unlocks new, profitable business models in telecom. The business-to-business market is set to get congested. In their B2B platforms, communication service providers (CSRs) can also provide integrated client engagement and billing solutions. For enterprise business and digital service providers, as well as other entrants, CSPs will compete with one another. Then there are the benefits that only CSPs can deliver to enterprise customers, such as advanced security offers. And CSPs are the only ones in the market who can combine network priority offerings with multiple service consolidations. But yet again, building trust and leveraging the legacy to long-term business relationships will serve as the basis for expansion.
It has been more than a year since the introduction of 5G, which is the latest, but certainly not the last, industry trend set to be deployed worldwide after leaders in telecom have already released their demos and tests. 5G takes the concept of seamlessness to a whole new level. 5G is ready to match these sky-high expectations at a time when demand for high-speed connectivity is greater than ever.
The network’s multiple benefits include cheaper connectivity costs, ultrafast speeds, and the much-anticipated lower latency, not to mention how better and faster connectivity might help mobility, farming, healthcare, and retail.
Telcos are leveraging AI and ML to drive automation for their infrastructure operations. The next era of AI will employ lots of data to predict peak traffic, provide better end-to-end service, and improve connection. It will be closely linked to 5G network development, which will function as a catalyst for AI and ML integration. Telcos can use these technologies to improve network capabilities, provide a consistent customer experience, and, of course, automate infrastructure.
In the fight against fraud, the value of AI/ML may also be measured. Anomalies will be discovered more rapidly, thanks to AI, and adjustable anti-fraud steps will be triggered. Companies, particularly telcos, will need to improve their statistical management of information with the right tools and software which, powered by AI, can produce meaningful insights on consumer behavior and generate new revenue opportunities as data creation and consumption grow to unprecedented levels.
Given the increased monetization potential that IoT development will provide, CSPs are looking for more innovative use-cases to monetize the sorts that unlock new value for both enterprises and their end-users. Wearables that monitor a patient’s blood pressure while they are at home, tagging of EOMs for improved monitoring and visibility across the supply chain, and a slew of other use-cases all fall under the umbrella of the Internet of Things. But how will such devices interact with the caregiver in a secure manner? CSPs are in a unique position to address the problem by providing network slices for such value-added services and making it easy for enterprises to employ them.
The rise in cyber-attacks and low-security IoT devices and the growing reliance on computing infrastructure make addressing security issues difficult. Systems are constantly managed in any industrial network to remain ahead of evolving cyber threats, but these methods frequently clash with the network’s essential dependability and availability requirements. Industrial networks are continually being improved by allowing systems to remain dynamic in the face of attacks.
The possibility of vulnerability to cyberattacks gives testimony that the mammoth investment in digital technology and automation should also bring in significant investment concerned with cyber security, or else the consequences will surely not be favorable.
Augmented reality is also an emerging newbie for telecom equipment inspections to a new level by providing real-time access to the inspected hardware to remote experts. Inspection professionals can provide immediate consultations directly during the equipment assessment by field staff, using AR apps and software. AR solutions can reduce time and money spent on telecom hardware inspection while also ensuring its continuous and reliable operation.
The effectiveness of telecommunications is increasingly being demanded by current technology, and a tailored augmented reality application can assist the sector in responding to market developments.
Network virtualization, like every other telco technology trend, has enormous economic potential. By introducing software-centric network services, network virtualization has changed the telecommunications landscape. The purpose-built hardware pieces are replaced by software that runs as a virtual machine in this software-oriented approach. According to a recent report, the network function virtualization (NFV) market is predicted to develop at a 30-percent compound annual growth rate through 2021. Communication service providers have reduced costs and boosted business agility by implementing new technologies, such as cloud and virtualization.
Also, an evident fact is that the telecom industry is certainly not the same as it used to be five years or a decade before. There has been a great emphasis on creating an ecosystem for users. But the concept is not new, and Apple is one of the successful examples of building a user ecosystem.
The same is the need of the hour, and telcos are heavily investing in it with examples like JioMart, JioMusic, JioTV, or how Airtel has brought in Airtel Black. Such offerings are capable enough to create upsells and opportunities for cross-selling, leading to increased profitability and hence an aspect that should not be overlooked.
As we see, technology has a lot to offer, but the criticality lies within its utilization and the organizational design and strategies that set reasonable grounds to drive growth across the nation. The technological advancements in telecom also turn out to be very promising in showcasing a healthy bottom line, if utilized optimally.
And most importantly, support from the government remains essential in this phase of growth, which has so much to offer and immense unleased potential.