To say the way people communicate is changing could be considered one of the biggest understatements of all times, and that is because change is the only constant in the world of communications today. Technology advances at leaps and bounds and telecommunications is one of the areas that suffers the biggest impacts that arise from such advancements. Connectivity is at a place that we never even dreamt of and that is why companies have to adapt to change and overcome challenges faster than ever before. A market as turbulent and changing as this one requires for telecoms to find a way to balance their efforts in order to build revenue and at the same time stay on the vanguard while remaining competitive. In order to stay in business, companies must adjust their strategies and adapt to the ever-changing nature of the industry that comes from the demand of consumers. Today here in Peter Foyo’s Blog, we want to talk about the most important challenges that telecoms must face and how they prepare for dealing with such changes today.
OTT stands for Over The Top services or “value added”. This refers to any service that you are able to utilize over the network offered by your service provider. One of the easiest examples of this, is the use of Whatsapp, Skype or other Voice Over IP services that allow you to make phone calls by using cellular data or a WiFi connection. Today, 2.5 billion people around the world use messaging apps and that means that there is a lot of renewing that gets taken away from service providers that offer text-messaging services. Since 2007, the Average Revenue Per User, or ARPU has been seriously decreasing, to the point of becoming half of what it used to be. This means that within a few years, they already dying trend of text messaging will become a thing of the past, and that means that Telecoms must find ways to compensate those losses, and that is without even taking into consideration the use of voice messages and audio notes that are becoming so popular lately.
The Internet of Things
The IoT is as popular as misunderstood, and lately it plays a big role in the shaping of telecommunications, the future of the industry and the rise of new trends in the world we live in. The Internet of Things is the use of the current Internet protocol and infrastructure to enable machines to communicate with each other, and also to allow for people to remotely monitor and used those machines. On top of that, it also refers to the creation and acknowledgment of digital signature and presences for such devices. An event like this means that there will be a huge demand for mobile data needed to cover the needs of millions of devices around the world communicating and sharing information.
A huge shift in technology and its projection is expected with the advent of artificial intelligence and its introduction to smartphones and mobile communications. Augmented reality, navigation, daily tasks recognition and management, personal assistance and self-learning software are some of the aspects covered by artificial intelligence and its application to telecommunications. One of the biggest challenges comes perhaps from the need companies will have to anticipate the capabilities of artificial intelligence and finding ways to exploit its full potential, thus creating devices that can host this application and that are able to use them in ways that are relevant to the public needs. It is interesting to think about the advantages that artificial intelligence can bring to telecoms themselves and how it can help them solve some of these challenges they are facing.
To the public, 5G networks seem like the next logical step to take when 4G is what we call what is currently being used. However it is a lot more complex than adding the next digit in the logical sequence of numbers, and that means an extremely large investment to create the next step in the evolution of physical networks.
A lot of the attention goes to the wireless coverage that is expected to come along with 5G but forget that there is a huge need for investment in the retrofitting and fiber backhaul network that need to be put in place to meet the huge data demands that are going to be posed with this new generation data exchange. Traffic is said to increase fourfold in the United States alone by the time we reach 2021, and that means that before benefits can be reaped, a lot of resources must be invested into adequate installation and support.
What happened to voice communications?
Going back to the beginning we come full circle to talk about voice, since that was the original way we communicated when the telecoms began many years ago. Instead of being phased out, people are going back to using voice to communicate instead of preferring messages, however, they are using OTT to change the way that communication takes place. What can telecoms do to overcome such challenge? They cannot fight the change, but the must quickly find a way to adapt to it!