2018: The year for telco transformation

1. Unlimited data plans will hit saturation point

2018 will be the year when unlimited data plans will peak, having reached a saturated summit. Success in this environment will depend on operators making bold moves to radically reinvent themselves to consumers, differentiating instead by considerations such as customer experience, content, flexibility and personalised services.

2. Telcos are beginning to rake in billion in IoT services

2018 will be the year IoT demand and supply converge into big dollars for telcos. Throughout 2017, we’ve seen the introduction of differentiated value added IoT services that change the economics of traditional industries such as energy, healthcare, waste management and agriculture.

>See also: Top 3 telecom trends for 2017

And as AI and real-time decision-making capabilities enhance retail, manufacturing and other various high value producing industries, we will see a marked inflection on the uptake of IoT deployments and related services offered by communication service providers.

3. The rise of the Amazon network

Amazon has held a firm place in the spotlight throughout 2017. Amazon’s strategy is clear – make it easier for consumers to stay in their ecosystem. Yes, to sell more stuff. But also to improve their big data collection so that they can better target consumers to – yes, sell more stuff.

The combination – improving transaction volume over mobile and new big data opportunities – will prove irresistible. The tech giant, which touches almost every sector from FMCG, retail, health and more, will make a move to disrupt the mobile market.

>See also: The role of telcos in smart cities

Many believe the brand is well primed to succeed in this space. In fact, 73% of consumers (UK and US) would buy mobile services from digital-first brands such as Amazon.

Amazon could become the aggregator of a consumer’s digital spend by offering personalisation and spend management features all in one place. Traditional players that fail to innovate risk extinction. That’s the stark truth in the era of digital disruption.

4. Mesh networks to be monetised

2017 has seen destructive hurricanes and earthquakes across the globe, not to mention devastating wildfires across the Northern California wine country. During these tragedies, communities were cut off from relief and rescue efforts, which often depend on having reliable communication networks.

Technology for mesh networks have been around for years; however, the need for emergency back-up, ad-hoc communication networks have put mesh networking on the forefront.

>See also: Uncovering the value of telco data

First world communities have become highly internet dependent for everyday living. Basic internet dependencies, combined with the need for backup communication systems, will drive these communities to come together to create viable and easy to access mesh networks. The success of these emergency use cases will subsequently drive the monetisation of mesh networks.

The success of Nextdoor.com and the vibrant sharing economy we see for lodging and transportation, demonstrates that mesh networks are ripe for monetisation. These networks could be monetised with an exchange and/or rewards-based business model that incentivises users share their data, device storage space, and processing power.


Sourced by Jennifer Kyriakakis, founder of MATRIXX Software

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...