What’s ahead for telecom in 2021?

When you spend your days working on telecom and technology projects, you always have to keep one eye on the future. You have to prepare. Surprises aren’t good for us or our clients. In that light we decided to look ahead to 2021 and provide our thoughts about what will drive the industry. 20121 may be two years away, but for us it’s right around the corner.

Create instead of manage
Coming soon, telecoms will be doing less voice and data services and more providing of exclusive content. In fact, more of them will actually own the production companies that create TV shows, games, and other content. Of course, these investments will come with a hefty price tag. While it’s smart to diversify your offerings, these decisions must align with the company’s overall brand.

That’s why these and other highly strategic decisions will be moved to the department level, where marketing and sales will participate in the choices. This way, new content offerings will be developed along with cross-sell opportunities and campaign management solutions.

5G will reach its potential
Where live streaming was once a novelty, it’s now almost part of everyday life. This experience demands ever-faster and always-reliable wireless connections, and 5G will deliver on that promise. In addition, 5G will offer the scalability, security and universal mobility necessary for IoT to reach its potential as well.

Automate or re-train?
Although the future is bright for telecoms, many are facing the current reality of lower revenues. As such, some telecoms have had to cut staff. Plus, many workers are leaving ship and taking jobs at digital companies, which can offer more exciting work and more appealing compensation packages. This situation leaves telecoms with a pressing question: Should they automate certain functions or re-train current staff? It’s a question they need to answer soon.

The rise of AR and VR
Augmented Reality (AR) is another technology that’s becoming more ubiquitous each day. We see it used with games, as well as with face filters on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. This will not be a passing fad – the trend will soon transform into something that’s part of the everyday technical landscape. For telecoms, this means demand for more sophisticated applications. 

Telecoms will also benefit greatly from Virtual Reality (VR). Specifically, VR-powered platforms will help them deliver content that differentiates their products and services, providing an interactive method to promote new devices or apps.

The power of Machine Learning and AI
Telecoms will also get a boost from the combination of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. These technologies will help to automate and improve the quality of back-office operations and customer service. Telecoms are already employing chatbots, speech recognition, and voice services, and these will become regular business practice over time as technologies inevitably get more efficient.

Customer support goes digital
While customer service is essential, it can be a frustrating process for both the customer and the telecom representative. It can take too long to resolve the issue, and in some case the issue doesn’t even get resolved after the call is completed.

Digitization helps to improve the experience and call results. Some telecoms are already using analytics-based digital support centers that can track and anticipate customer needs. Digitization also provides customers with self-service options to resolve issues – this reduces the amount of support calls that require help from a support representative. Telecoms not only cut costs, they improve customer satisfaction. By 2021 we will see more telecoms use this type of customer support.

If there’s one constant about telecom, it’s that today’s trends will soon give way to new trends. That is why telecoms must be open-minded enough to adopt new technologies while being ready for another disruption. In other words, be prepared instead of being surprised.

 

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