Past year struggle of pandemic times has left its stain on everyone’s mind and with people still coping with pandemic aftereffects, every industry has suffered greatly.
But as the popular saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention” and as industries saw the need for adapting themselves to this new world of lockdowns and shutdowns, they adapted their market according to the new trends with innovative ideas as we are going to discuss in detail.
The telecom industry like any other industry also faced many challenges in the past year. Since a lot of businesses and consumers heavily relied on connectivity during the lockdown, remote working took over as new procedures, students had to adapt to online learning from their homes and many businesses had to find new ways to keep their doors open and relied on using technology to facilitate contactless services enabled by the network.
At this point, we can’t predict the timeline for the return of normalcy. But, as we look around the world and see how the world has adapted to this remote scenario, it is safe to say that the telecom sector has to show more innovative results for building smarter, safer, and stronger solutions.
Let us dive more into some of the technologies that are forecasted to dominate the telecom industry in the coming year and possibly in the post-pandemic era.
With people becoming more dependent on mobile devices, the need for the efficiency of wireless networks is becoming more critical. This was one of the main reasons why 5G has been invested in and planned for by so many telecom companies. Coming up with the fastest data transmission while also providing high speed and low latency are some of the new features shown by 5G networks. In every sector like healthcare, education, etc, 5G has already shown its worth. 5G has the potential to transform the network experience of consumers with its unique features and uses. Simultaneously, 5G will give a boost to the Internet of Things (IoT) by facilitating massive machine-type communication.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
AI/ML can be considered one of the most significant telecom tech trends for 2021. According to Forbes, “Telecommunications is becoming one of the fastest-growing industries using AI/ML in several aspects of their business starting from enhancing the customer experience to predictive maintenance to improving network reliability”.
AI-based tools have the potential to enhance the digital experience of the customer thus giving a boost to the telecom industry. Also, AI-driven tools such as chatbots and virtual assistants can ensure that the customer support services run seamlessly.
They can help in providing personalized customer engagement services based on customer history. Apart from enhancing the customer service experience, AI/ML also has the feature to optimize the network quality by predictive maintenance and smart impact analysis.
Mobile Edge Computing
Alongside 5G, edge computing is about to hit a decisive moment as the promising networking movement has shown its potential and has come up as an emerging telecom trend during 2020 pandemic times. Several telecom companies have started working towards new projects to implement mobile edge computing for the better growth of smartphones and IoT devices. According to tech analysts, mobile edge computing will be a driving factor that will transform the telecom industry in the coming years as a disruptive technology. Apart from reducing latency, edge computing will also help in speeding up the processing of real-time data collected and transmitted through connected devices.
Internet of Things (IoT) considered as one of the most critical telecom trends to impact the telecom industry, took off in ways no one expected in 2020.
Pandemic forced businesses around the globe to think out of the box. Starting from pop-up healthcare clinics in parking lots, to safe contactless home ordering and touchless delivery at retail stores and restaurants, connectivity in new places and devices were some of the necessary steps taken to keep certain industries up and running.
Also, a surge in the demand for smart home devices was seen during 2020. With its ultrafast speed and ultralow latency enabled by 5G, IoT will get the required boost in making connected devices exchange real-time data almost instantly.
India Amidst Telecom Trends
India is currently ranked as the world’s second-largest telecom market having a subscriber base of 1.16 billion and has shown tremendous growth in the last decade. And with such a large base consumer market, India is bound to attract international attention concerning which Government of India has taken extra measures to make the industry boom in the coming years.
The Government has made a way for easy market access to telecom equipment and a proactive regulatory framework, because of which availability of telecom services has been made affordable to consumers.
Also, the deregulation of FDI norms has made the sector one of the fastest-growing sectors along with the top five employment opportunity generator in the country.
Apart from Government Initiatives, the entry of Reliance Jio, with a complete 4G network, had started a price war with rates slashed up to 70-80% as compared to earlier levels. Though beneficial for customers, the price war resulted in burning holes in the pockets of Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and BSNL as they all suffered major losses.
And with Reliance Jio announcing the news of becoming the first telecom company to introduce 5G soon in the country, there is a mad dash among several telecom operators to win this race. Though, they have taken a setback with the past year lockdowns and the spectrum auctions deadlock that will lead to delayed deployments.
India is also seen moving towards fiber-to-the-home that was already commercialized in September 2019, it’s predicted that fiber will be a large part of wired connectivity deployments across India.