Telco companies in 2019 are facing increasing pressure to invest in technology while focusing on developing business models for monetizing 5G as well as other possibilities.
Once 5G is available, it will generate significant opportunities for generating revenue in the business-to-business and fixed broadband areas – which include the Internet of Things (IoT), the connected home, and smart cities.
The greatest challenge will be to realign revenue and business models for supporting a new range of services without streamlining processes or losing focus to deal with the anticipated increased workloads.
2019 Telco trends
Let’s check out the leading Telco trends of 2019 that are poised to impact the sector significantly:
1. Increased adoption of the cloud
Telecommunication companies are capitalizing on the agility and scale of the cloud to embrace IoT opportunities, rapidly introduce innovation, and virtualize networks. That includes making investments in cloud platforms to provide new digital service – which provides for cloud-based unified communication services, SaaS applications, and OTT content.
As we move forward, you can expect the cloud to become increasingly embedded within business processes with telecommunication companies aiming to mine big data to capitalize on additional revenue opportunities and managing and automating omnichannel interactions with their customers.
2. 5G becomes real
Manufacturers, healthcare, transport, agriculture, and energy, all are positioned to take full advantage of the potential that is offered by IoT technologies and 5G as they become increasingly mainstream. The introduction of 5G will see partnerships with telecommunication companies and other providers to capitalize on new market opportunities – blockchain, analytics, data collection, predictive maintenance, fleet management, smart city technologies, along with primary OTT providers.
5G will be creating a broad range of new opportunities – from autonomous vehicles and machine-to-machine services to innovative video services and remote healthcare. With expanded 5G capabilities, telco’s also will need to make investments in technology to develop go-to-market models for capturing the potential of 5G-IoT business.
3. Creating Value within the Ecosystem
To fully capitalize on opportunities offered by IoT, telecommunication companies are going to need to become simply just making an API available to their IoT platforms. They also are going to need to seamlessly coordinate an ecosystem comprised of independent partners who will create value together. In addition to securing the exchange of data and allowing for complex integration capabilities, operators are also going to need the right management and decision systems for supporting various revenue sharing models.
Finally, telecommunication companies will not only need to get virtual monetization schemas enabled for supporting automated service delivery but will also need to be able to handle extended and complex customer value chains.
4. Minding the margins – the new imperative for business
Revenue growth is not the only game any longer. That explains why were are seeing an increase in business plans that are based on individual margin per user (IMPU) instead of average revenue per user (ARPU).
This trend is poised to continue with telecom operators initiating digital service portfolios, that require performance and direct costs to be strictly governed in order to maintain profitability. To telecommunication companies to keep their eye on margins, they will be increasingly leveraging data they hold already – using machine learning and analytics to obtain insights into customer profitability, assets, and products.
5. Digital identity and privacy will be moving to the centre stage
Identity theft and privacy will continue being critical issues in 2019 for providers. In an era where data security is linked directly with customer satisfaction, the ability of telco’s to be able to offer greater control and visibility of personal data for personalized advertising and services will be the winners.
With eSIM technologies poised to take mobile connectivity and IoT to an entirely new level, it is important for telco operators to understand that their capabilities are with digital customer management, which is why blockchain is moving to the center stage.
6. Unlocking the potential of the Blockchain
All core services and management systems will be impacted by the blockchain to provide opportunities for revenue growth and efficiency gains via new value propositions. It is important for Telco operators to seize opportunities for implementing blockchain for value and data exchange for reducing fraud and unleashing new types of identity-as-a-service revenue-generating eSIM services.
eSIM provisioning combined with blockchain will be key in enabling superior customer experiences, service efficiencies, and revenue streams. Enabling interoperability between external and internal system, which at the same time increase operational process effectiveness and transparency.
7. Preparing for increased industry convergence
The telecommunication companies of today are leading fast-paced innovations in location-based data services, mobile payments, Fintech, and much more. With money going mobile, you can expect to see an increasing number of telecommunication companies grasping the financial services sector and initiating new alliances that allow real-time payments for enterprises and individuals.
It is a similar situation when it comes to smart automation, health, and media services with telcos leveraging their diverse asset portfolio – ranging from secure IT infrastructure and connectivity to a call center, retail, and online presence in addition to impressive data analytics, billing, and CRM platforms for seizing new prospective markets.
8. New digital rules for CX engagement
With speed and convenience heading the agenda for consumer, telecom providers must be prepared for digital-first customer engagement and service. Self-service in 2019 will be surpassing human support as increasing numbers of customers are looking to take care of their own business. Be prepared for more co-browsing and live chat for supporting the customer throughout the purchasing process.
Providers will need the ability to blend their assisted and automated services seamlessly, to ensure that information that relates to automated interaction does not get lost, in case a human agent needs to provide assistance.
9. Revolutionizing field service
During a time when provisioning of services was developed around smart home services, new approaches will be required for delivering fast and flexible on-site customer support, with telco operators capitalizing on the gig economy and utilizing ‘crowd services’ for creating a wide-ranging service ecosystem with the ability to respond more quickly to customer service – and a reduced cost.
10. Use AI in more creative and new ways
Up to this point, a lot of the buzz surrounding AI has been about using virtual assistants and chat boxes within customer service environments. However, we will be increasingly seeing machine learning used by telecommunication companies to allow for intelligent solutions and search recommendations, optimizing field service resources, intelligent ‘call routing,’ and automated ticket categorization. Robotic process automation similarly will be deployed for streamlining very repetitive service process workflows and streamlining complex case management.
A new era of ‘Intelligent Connectivity’ is upon us to allow the convergence of AI, IoT, and high-speed 5G networks will be unleashing highly personalized and contextualized experiences that will be defining the industry’s future.