In the latest in our series of predictions pieces running between Christmas and the New Year, Mark Jackson, director and industry principal, telecoms & media, at Pegasystems, looks at what 2019 holds in store for telcos.
The advent of 5G means consumers will no longer need to rely on home broadband to access high-speed internet. For some customers, this means they will only require one internet contract, which will allow them to seamlessly transition from the home to mobile. This will be particularly beneficial for rural communities who aren’t always able to access a fast internet service.
In the US we’ve already seen Verizon going after cable-dependent areas, encouraging their customers to purchase a 5G hub as a replacement to home broadband, and we’ll soon see this trend appearing in the UK when 5G services go live.
The mobile app is dead
Hundreds of apps clog up the average smartphone, and 2019 is going see a big app shake-up that could be terminal. Yes, smartphone memory is increasing, but the constant pinging of notifications, using up data and, battery consumption, has led to “App Fatigue”. Customers are simply ignoring or deleting all but their essential apps from their phones.
CSPs will realise that investing thousands of pounds in an app that nobody will use is not the wisest initiative, particularly with today’s customers having more and more channels and devices available instantly to them to use – Alexa, WhatsApp, Skype and more. In order to support their customers’ digital demands whilst simultaneously increasing engagement, CSPs need to deliver a personalised experience via combined omni-channel AI and end-to-end Robotic Automation to enable streamlined, efficient journeys.
Digitising the B2B offering – an untapped opportunity for telcos
As the B2B market grows next year, communication service providers (CSPs) will have to pull their socks up to expand their service portfolios and dramatically ramp up their service levels.
Business customers demand a differentiated ‘enterprise grade’ level of service, for example ensuring SLAs are met and the promised service specification is delivered in a certain timeframe. Fixed and mobile services are converging, and cloud-based solutions are being offered to reduce capital expenditure for customers, and these will open up new opportunities from connected devices and applications through IoT. To achieve this goal, an end-to-end automated digital operation is a must for CSPs to capture revenue, reduce operating cost and realise strong returns from new B2B services.
Can we cope with a connected everything?
IoT has become the fastest-growing part of telco businesses. In fact, Samsung has announced that they want ALL of their devices to be connected – from your TV to your oven.
While 5G will help facilitate IoT, it poses a myriad of challenges for the companies involved – who owns and is responsible for the data, for example? On one hand, if businesses and individuals hand over their information in return for using an IoT network, companies can offer a better service, or a cheaper contract. On the other, the responsibility of managing and keeping this data secure dramatically increases the burden of compliance. Companies need the right compliance tools to stay on top of this before it spirals out of control.
Being able to prove CSPs are compliant to ever-changing rules means they, like the banks, will embrace regtech that can be created and configured easily and quickly without needing to have a deep knowledge of coding.
Strategic sales to raise new service development capital?
The development of new 5G networks is an overwhelming task, and telcos need to work out where to invest time and money in investing in new 5G networks. So, where do they start? With network rollout demanding a huge capital investment, next year will we see more and more telcos selling off businesses in other countries to raise capital to be able to invest in 5G network construction in their more profitable regions? Only time will tell.