Predictions For Telecoms in 2020 (A Digital Reality Check)
Ringing in the changes for the new year, Communications service providers in Nigeria and Africa at large will have to step up their game in 2020 just as it happened in 2019. This is because their main offering of managed connectivity is increasingly becoming a commodity – and no longer a differentiator.
The same holds true for the provision of network quality and coverage. Therefore CSP’s are looking for change now. They will move up in the value chain and help their customers to manage and store their own content – and do something meaningful with it. This will require new business models – with new communications and partner channels – helping them to gain new service revenues and compete with over-the-top (OTT) players.
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Moving forward in this article, let’s look at the precise predictions of what the telecommunications industry will see rushing towards them in 2020.
- Open Platforms
CSP’s will evolve from a closed IT architecture, where they only deliver their own services to their own customers via their own networks, towards open platform architecture in a wider ecosystem, accessed through APIs. With that open platform business architecture, CSP’s will be able to welcome partners and to aggregate and commercialize their offerings – in turn boosting their own revenues.
With this evolution, CSP’s will rely heavily on API management and hybrid integration, to manage and interact with complex ecosystems.
CSP’s will all soon provide IoT as a service (IoTaaS) platforms that can be tailored for specific customer segment or industry needs. For example:
- Asset tracking in transportation
- Industrial machine monitoring in manufacturing
- New public services as part of a smart city.
- Such a platform makes it possible to – in just days – monitor and control thousands of devices
- remotely and without any difficult installations.
3. Battling for CX
While focusing on their above transformations, the battlefield around customer experience will only intensify. Enhancing the digital customer experience is paramount for customer satisfaction and a reduced customer churn. Just as it was predicted in 2019 at the moment its 2020 and there will be an increased need of capabilities such as customer journey analytics, M2M and AI, preferably all in a rich – but tightly integrated – platform.
4. The rise of the private network
There will be a rise of 5G private networks in the next 2 years in many cases with involvement of operators. A private 5G network is a local area network (LAN) that will use 5G technology to build and create a network.
The network thus created is expected to carry along all the features of 5G network including reduced latency and higher speeds.
Private networks for enterprises will be the most direct option for large businesses that want to benefit from 5G capabilities. However these networks may be offered by CSPs or directly by infrastructure and cloud and other software vendors.
Businesses, especially those involved in manufacturing and other industries, are looking forward to using private 5G networks to get high-level granular views on their sales and operations. Operations and monetization of these networks will be key to success of these networks.
5. Let’s learn to play nice again
Policymakers should work to build a consensus with industries, businesses and other nations to reinforce the principles of free trade and rejuvenate the global trading system. Tariff barriers have reduced global commerce and international co-operation and this has had an indirect and damaging impact on cyber security.
Policy makers and business should come together to reinvigorate the global trading system and agree strong, new cyber security rules that apply to all – supported by robust monitoring mechanisms that help build confidence.
6 . Innovation in spectrum will enable the rise of new 5G players
5G will see new, disruptive players entering the market in smart cities, IoT devices and private networks. All these new players will also require spectrum, driving innovation in regulation and allocation.
Multiple countries, including the USA, Japan, Germany and the UK are already regulating bands of spectrums to be available through shared and priority access, and to be dedicated to enterprise applications.
As we cruise in 2020, and just as 5G begins to takes hold, this will encourage innovation, disruption, and competition in that market. Traditional CSPs will evolve to open cloud networks, network sharing, network slicing and new spectrum to attain the cost structures, agility and innovation to compete in 5G.
7 . Telcos fully evolve their focus from NFV to cloud native
Regardless of the number of public cloud partnership announcements we continue to see, operators will continue to heavily invest their resources into evolving to cloud native principles. This includes the shift from VNFs to CNFs irrespective of the choice to leverage public cloud platforms or not.
This shift and investment to cloud native is what will enable dynamic network capabilities, and massively streamline the cost and time to market for digital services.
So, there will be less hype around ‘cloud’ itself, and much greater focus on cloud native evolution happening inside the carriers’ data centers.