This year, telecommunications companies are gearing up for some of the biggest technological advancements the industry has seen in years. Trends such as the 5G revolution and the advancement of the internet of things (IoT) will reshape the telecom sector and force innovation on a massive scale. This post explores four of the most pertinent advancements that will affect telecom companies in 2020.
5G stands for 5th generation — the most recent iteration of broadband connection. 5G brings three major upgrades to the table. It provides greater speed to move more data, decreases latency for shorter load times, and increases the ability to connect more devices at once.
5G networks will enable more detailed and efficient augmented and virtual realities, higher resolution video, fully autonomous vehicles, massive connected IoT networks (like smart cities), and more.
5G is the most highly anticipated change to the future of telecom. Though it isn’t set to officially launch until 2021, the four major U.S. cell carriers have already announced they’ll be releasing 5G capabilities in 2019, some as early as May.
IoT and Smart Cities
The IoT consists of a network of connected devices, able to communicate with each other, and which can be controlled and monitored remotely. By 2021, there will be an estimated 30 billion connected IoT devices worldwide, many of which will be industrial connections, an essential component of smart cities.
Smart cities take the IoT a step further by creating an interconnected network that residents can access online, often via a mobile app. A network like this will provide data and communication channels that allow users to better manage their day-to-day activities, from corresponding directly with their government, to instantly finding a parking spot on a busy day.
The main goal of smart cities is to create a better quality of living for their citizens by streamlining urban services like energy and transportation through smart technology. However, prior to the promise of 5G networks, experts couldn’t foresee the capacity to support the amount of data a truly connected city would generate. Now that 5G is on the horizon, major urban areas will be racing to be the first to introduce their own smart city.
AI in the telecom industry encompasses a myriad of focus areas. Customer service and network optimization are at the top of that list. Throughout this year, some of the biggest implementations of AI will be in these spaces (this seems redundant). In fact, according to IDC 63 percent of telecom companies are investing in AI systems this year.
Predictive analytics is one of the most promising capabilities of AI technology, especially for the telecom community. AI-based analytics provide telecom companies with the ability to use data and machine learning software to predict future industry trends and potential infrastructure snags, and to continuously assess their service for bugs or potential pitfalls.
Additionally, AI-based chat-bots and virtual assistants will transform the way businesses handle customer service. They can automate conversations and successfully mimic human speech, while drawing data and insights to provide personalized and positive experiences. Tech leader Mark Hurd believes that 85 percent of interactions with customers will be automated by 2020.
Much like ecosystems function in nature, industrial ecosystems are a network of cross-industry organizations that work together to create a stronger, more advanced industry. The telecom industry will see a move toward creating those lucrative ecosystems.
According to a recent Accenture report, ecosystems will unlock $100 trillion in value during the next 10 years by unlocking competitive agility. Telecom companies have the highest potential to come together and form such alliances. Industry leaders agree, with 83 percent citing ecosystems as an important piece of their disruption strategy.
The introduction of IoT networks, backed with 5G capabilities, will make this even easier and will allow companies to seamlessly collaborate to advance these technologies across their networks.
The telecommunications industry is a vital center for cutting-edge technology adoption. With the integration of AI technologies, 5G networks, and the IoT, telecom organizations will continue to be at the forefront of technological growth.
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