Rapidly changing telecom dynamics

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Telcos are in the midst of the most exciting phase of an era wherein the customer reigns supreme and technology, in turn, is being utilized to deliver the finest customer experience possible.

OTT media players are capturing the market at an exponential rate. In response, telcos need to reinvent themselves to stay relevant in the market by producing new revenue streams that take advantage of the latest trends and anticipate future customer demands.

This next level of the industry centers around content capabilities, smart networks, analytics and connected devices. Telcos already have a strong network backbone, so if they can ride on this trend, it could be revolutionary for them and their customers.

Monetize your credibility

Most telecom companies were established several decades ago, and that provides them with a unique competitive strength — they possess a hard-earned credibility with customers. The decades-long background also means telcos know their customers well. They understand consumer needs and demands. In many ways, this is the most powerful weapon they have. In fact, it could be argued that telcos can only win in the current market situation if they keep their customers’ trust intact.

Profit from emerging trends

With voice and text becoming commodities, telcos are looking to monetize the next big trend — data. It is a key element of many upcoming telecom industry trends and could be a big area for telcos looking to further monetize. Industry drivers for monetizing data include:

  • Content
  • Smart devices
  • Smart networks with self-healing capabilities
  • User-experience and interaction

Moreover, with the foundation of 5G, telcos can play innovator for both the industry and customers. If used in an appropriate manner, technologies such as internet of things (IoT), cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and next-gen networks can prove to be disruptive for the next revolution in telecom and thus, the industries riding on telecom, such as smart logistics, smart retail, smart transportation and hospitality, to name a few. These emerging technologies will provide new value that will be hard to for consumers to resist. And ultimately, they will become a necessity of modern life.

The next step towards re-invention is increased collaboration. Strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions not only bring additional capabilities to this collaborative industry landscape, but are proving to be convenient for end customers as well. For instance, AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV and Time Warner has brought a unique wave of business model reinvention. Similarly, T-Mobile acquired Layer3 TV and Comcast acquired Sky.  While in the past these companies were only providing the network backbone to content delivery, now they are converting into media, content and technology organizations themselves.

This is making life easier for customers. A single platform now offers more services and content, all from one provider.

Disrupt with the latest technology

Telcos have a good chance to win in the IoT space, which is expected to double by 2021 from $235B in 2017 to $520B. Their experience in connectivity (the backbone of IoT), management of directories and lifecycles for millions of devices, and know-how in capturing and processing sensor and device data for meaningful decision-making gives them the power required to disrupt. These are strengths telcos have always had, and now is the time to monetize them.

Moreover, it has been predicted that the IoT market will proliferate more for industries than consumers. To draw revenues from IoT, then, communication service providers should focus more on industrial than consumer solutions. This will unfold new business areas leveraging telcos’ competitive advantage in this domain.

AI could add another competitive advantage for telcos. Considering the increase in data traffic, it will be hard for operators to depend on traditional approaches to network management. Therefore, technologies such as AI will be necessary as telcos make use of intelligent network optimization, network operation and maintenance to manage their networks. In addition, AI will help in user profiling, which can be advantageous and valuable from a customer experience perspective.

And let’s not forget the next disruptors of the industry – AR and VR devices. Fundamentally, the next big platforms will solve complex problems that have not yet been considered. Telcos can provide the open enablement platforms and content to smoothly run the entire ecosystem. Since they already have the network capabilities, building additional competencies between connectivity and technology providers can help telcos create sought-after end-user solutions, including real-time AR and VR gaming and content anytime and anywhere.

Overall, telcos’ existing core strengths will help them stand out in this evolving marketplace. Though the dynamics of the industry are changing, the opportunities to grow to “ginormous” proportions are increasing. And we predict the advantages will overpower any complexities that stand in the way. It’s an interesting time both for consumers to take advantage of innovation and for telcos to deliver it. This is an amazing journey that will bring revolution to the world around us. In these exciting times, consumers will be the winners – and so will telcos.


Shailendra-Sharma-headshotShailendra Sharma (Shell) is sector general manager and head of the telecommunications industry for DXC Technology. He leads an integrated team of sales, account management, operations, solutions, offering and delivery team members responsible for telecom. He is responsible for all strategic decisions relating to formulation and executing strategy, sales, revenue, operations and profit growth. Prior to joining DXC, Shell was at HCL, where he was responsible for running the telecom industry group and led the sales teams across growing new business in existing accounts and securing new logos. Shell lives with his wife and two children in Naperville, Ill. In his leisure time he enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures and reading.

Comments

  1. Sunaina Chopra says:

    Interesting!

    Like

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