Top trends in telecom today

The telecommunications sector is dynamic in nature and is experiencing rapid change, Professor Tadhg O'Donovan, Head of School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Dubai outlines some of the key trends in telecom today.
Trends, Heriot-watt university


Global telecommunication spending is forecast to reach $1.44 trillion by 2019, up from $1.32 trillion in 2014. Additionally, telecommunication companies or telcos are gearing up for some of the biggest technological advancements the industry has seen in years. Here are the top telecom trends today:

  • 5G gets real – Various industries are all poised to take advantage of the benefits offered by 5G as it prepares to become mainstream. Economists estimate that the global economic impact of 5G in new goods and services will reach $12 trillion by 2035 as 5G moves mobile technology merely from connecting people to people and information, towards connecting people to everything. For example, 5G will enable connection of cars to the roads they are on, doctors to the personal medical devices of their patients and more. All of these require a massive increase in the level of connectivity, which 5G will enable.
  • The importance of privacy and digital identity – Already identified as a critical issue for some time now, privacy and digital identity will continue to grow in importance. In an age where data security is directly linked with customer satisfaction, a telco’s ability to offer transparency and control of personal data will influence customer loyalties. And with eSIM technologies set to take IoT and mobile connectivity to a new level, telco operators will need to work harder than ever to maintain security.
  • AI driving customer engagement – Research states that AI as a standalone industry has the potential to claim a total market cap of $120-180 billion by 2020 and will have an impact on many industries including customer service. Customer experience is key for any business, and Artificial Intelligence or AI will provide telcos with additional tools and resources to transform customer service interaction, improve response rates and enable employees to focus on higher value tasks that provide greater returns. Therefore, both consumers and telcos alike will need to get ready for digital-first customer service and engagement. Studies indicate that in 2019, self-service will surpass human support!
  • Accelerating cloud adoption – The advantages of the cloud are well established – according to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to reach $206.2 billion, up from $175.8 billion in 2018. Riding on this trend, telcos are today using the cloud to virtualize networks, increase the pace of innovation and embrace IoT opportunities. Some examples of this are using cloud platforms to deliver new digital services such as OTT content and cloud-based unified communication services. We expect to see the cloud becoming more and more deeply entrenched in everything that telcos do.

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