Telecommunication companies have reached a pivotal moment. The industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace, accelerated by the arrival of 5G networks. For telcos to remain competitive in this changing marketplace, they must embrace innovation. Telcos must embark on a process of digital transformation to improve efficiency, deliver greater ROI, and enhance their customer experiences. The potential lies beyond network connectivity: they must evolve their business model into the emerging technology services market. If they are to thrive, telcos must be at the forefront of transformation, driving digitisation in other industries.
Taking the first step
Before telcos can embrace these emerging technologies, like the Internet of Things, 5G, AI, ML and so on. their infrastructure must evolve to meet these new needs. This will mean finding a way to overcome the shortcomings and complexities in their existing network infrastructure and technology.
Adopting cloud and cloud-enabled technologies is the boost that telcos need. It can help them support and optimise business processes, streamline operations, and enable the introduction of new and innovative services. Indeed, an Ovum research study published last year claims that for telecoms companies to be able to compete in the digital world, the adoption of public cloud is inevitable.
In order to execute this digital transformation, telcos will need strong partnerships with major cloud vendors. Vendors who can help energise this transformation with support, resources, and expertise, not to mention access to IoT, AI, 5G components, and go-to-market automation. Indeed, this is an opportunity that the global tech giants have already identified. Telcos should be watching closely.
The demand for data
These emerging technologies, whether 5G, IoT, or AI, have one thing in common. They need significant amounts of low-latency data. These technologies need platforms that can support high levels of connectivity and sustain explosive growth in the number of devices using them. As 5G networks expand and IoT connectivity grows, this need for data will grow exponentially. This is good news for telecom companies, assuming they’ve positioned themselves to take advantage of this new opportunity.
However, supporting these emerging technologies is not something that can happen overnight. Implementing them requires cloud-native functions, and many in-house telco teams do not yet have the capabilities. But by partnering with cloud vendors, telcos can tap into this expertise and effectively manage and implement this change to expand their capabilities.
The advantages of cloud computing for telcos go far beyond supporting new technology. Public cloud services can also help telcos achieve major cost savings in operations. Without the need for physical servers, there is no need for hardware, data centre costs, or even the physical space to house the servers. With cloud computing, telcos can right-size their data centre footprints and reallocate the resources spent on IT infrastructure. Similarly, switching to a cloud-based SaaS model and implementing automation through the cloud both achieve a similar outcome: fewer fixed costs and less demand on infrastructure.
Similarly, cloud infrastructures, such as NFV and SDN, unlock new avenues for telcos to enhance and improve their services. They can use cloud platforms to offer improved operations support systems and business support systems. When combined with AI, these infrastructures can offer more insightful analytics, improved security, and seamless user experiences. Simply put, they enable telcos to modernise their operations and improve performance.
This transformation will not be an easy process for telcos, but nothing worth pursuing ever is. The opportunity is there. The organisations that seize the initiative, embrace innovation, and make the switch to cloud computing will be well-positioned to take advantage of the value this new technology brings to the telco market.
- For telcos to remain competitive in this changing marketplace, they must embrace innovation.
- Adopting cloud and cloud-enabled technologies is the boost that telcos need.
- Emerging technologies need platforms that can support high levels of connectivity and sustain explosive growth of devices using them.
- Public cloud services can also help telcos achieve major cost savings in operations.