The NFL season kicked off a few weeks ago, and like any year, there are predictions galore. We thought it would be nice to share our opinions as well, but upon further review, it wasn’t really a great idea.
See, as much as we love professional football, we’re much better suited to forecast the state of the telecommunications industry. And rather than focus on one year, we believe you would appreciate a longer-term view.
Why assess what will happen over the next 12 months when your crystal ball has a view into the next 36 or so months?
In that spirit, we decided to anticipate the major trends in telecom over the next few years.
For starters, let’s look at mobility, which is growing like wildfire across the world. In fact, we’re seeing mobile connectivity explode significantly more than hardline connectivity.
This is logical since the largest percentage of wireless adoption is taking place in developing countries. These are people who earn very little, and who often lack basic telecom infrastructures. For them, mobile is not only affordable, it’s often the only option, as many lack access to landlines. For these reasons, mobile will continue to be an ever-increasing revenue source for telecoms.
Those in less developed countries may not be ready for The Internet Of Things (IoT), but many telecom companies are already putting it to use for those more fortunate. With the convergence of increased Internet bandwidth and million of connected devices, IoT will only grow and grow.
By 2020 we believe IoT will become as common as wireless connectivity, an everyday experience in both households and businesses. The immense amount of data collection, along with more powerful predictable analytics, will make for a more efficient and safer world for consumers, and a more profitable one for telecom providers.
Mobility and IoT depend on integration of content, which is another aspect of telecom that’s sure to reach new heights. Connectivity becomes cheaper each day, meaning the service brings in less revenue than in years past. However, the integration of content, service, and product will become a bigger piece of the pie over time, and by 2020 will be even bigger. In fact, it’s inevitable that a major telecom company will be acquired by a leading content provider. It’s just a matter of time, as both sides can help each other scale higher in profits.
All of these aforementioned forces will naturally lead to complete saturation of the market. Populations 50 years of age and under are already full-time digital citizens, but there are remaining segments that have yet to fully embrace technology.
However, baby boomers are quickly getting to the retirement phase of their lives, meaning many are moving to assisted living communities. Since these facilities tend to offer state-of-the-art technology, older populations will become digital users and online consumers like the rest of us.This is yet another major growth opportunity for telecom companies.
Yet none of these trends will be possible without better security. As technology gets weaved deeper into the fabric of everyday life, so does the threat to our data, privacy and even safety. Telecom firms are critical players in fighting cyber threats, and by 2020 security will be central to their business model.
We may not know which teams will be in the 2020 Superbowl, but at least telecom firms will know what they need to win in the game of business.