The telecommunication industry has seen a tremendous amount of innovation in the last decade. Business models have been non-traditional in nature, including IoT [Internet of Things], mobile payments, and increasing data consumption needs. The trends for this industry must embrace these challenges while embracing growth opportunities as they come for it to achieve sustained success.
According to Ed Wynn, Executive Chairman of Call One, global spending within this industry is expected to reach $3.9 trillion by 2019, with $1.45 trillion targeted at communications services.
There will be a number of opportunities for growth in an industry this large and integrated into the global society. After all, US consumers look at telecommunication devices over 8 billion times per day. These are expected to be the key telecommunication industry trends over the next decade.
Telecommunications and its Coverage Together
- Many businesses are turning to the Cloud, but it is a market that is often misunderstood. According to CIO Insight, cloud-based contact centers are 27% more likely to have access to integrated customer relationship management (CRM) systems than those that are premise-based.
- Small- to medium-sized businesses [SMBs] will look to purchase, as a service, their data storage and processing, from a “cloud” provider, avoiding huge capital costs and ensuring access to the latest storage and processing technologies.
- According to Deloitte, consumer demand for digital technologies that make it easier to access and pay for public services using mobile devices, such as parking and transportation, will help to drive these initiatives, as will municipal demand to operate the city more effectively and efficiently through applications such as connected city lighting, asset monitoring and tracking, and video security.
- Watch for a continued increase in alliances and partnerships which can help bring a variety of requisite capabilities and speed time-to-market within the industry as a whole.
- Using the Cloud, just a 10% improvement in customer service could translate to nearly $1 billion in revenue improvements for the telecommunication industry.
The fact is that we live in a world that is very connected. Information has become one of the planet’s most valuable currencies. This will help the telecommunications industry be able to innovate new products and services which consumers and even our infrastructure will need if we are to be able to efficiently process this information. Look for the industry to adapt to social media customer service opportunities, engagement outreach over a variety of platforms, and strong marketing pushes when new products and services are developed so that consumers will see and experience the benefits of upgrading.
Apps Will Continue to Dominate
- By the end of 2015, it was estimated that there were 180 billion apps that were downloaded by consumers around the world according to data gathered by Wired.
- According to Wynn, data has shown that the use of collaboration tools within the telecommunication industry and improve business performance by 72%.
- Watch for SMBs to embrace apps like VoIP and other unified communications to become more effective at how they send and receive data in their B2B and B2C relationships.
- Apps will also be used by businesses to change the way internal communications work, blurring the lines of personal and professional for their workers in order to make people more efficient and reduce the need for travel.
- The average price of an iPhone app is currently 19 cents and that price is expected to keep shrinking. This is despite the fact that the average cost of app development within the telecommunication industry is $270,000 according to data from Formotus.
- Watch of independent app developers to embrace the need for expanded app offerings, as a survey of 96 mobile app developers found the average development cost was just $6,453.
- As smart homes and vehicles develop, smart cities begin to be planned, and the consumer demand for digital technologies increase, the need for applications within the telecommunication industry to solve the problems these upgrades will invariably create will allow for the opportunity for revenues to be continually present.
Apps have become the dominant force in the telecommunication industry. That’s a pretty remarkable considering Steve Jobs initially didn’t see there being much potential for apps in the first place. Although the retail price of an app is rather low these days, when you multiply the potential of billions of downloads per app, there’s a lot of revenue potential. Whether it’s an Android, iOS, or even a Windows platform, consumers spend 85% of their time on smartphones in apps according to Tech Crunch. With entertainment and information needs increasing, expect the 26 apps per month that are accessed to continue to increase.
Investments into Cyber Security Must Happen
- According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, lapses in cyber security cost the global economy more than $400 billion annually.
- A survey by the Cyber Edge Group found that 71% of all global industries had suffered a cyber security attack at least once.
- The average cost of a cyber breach has risen 96% since this data was first measured, reaching $12.7 million per organization according to the most recent data from the Ponemon Institute.
- According to Wynn, SMBs will look to be obtaining data and network security as a service from a provider with third-party data security certifications, covering the key risk areas and regulatory requirements.
- The SANS Institute reports that a whopping 95% of all attacks on enterprise networks gained entry through a “spear phishing attack,” which is defined as an email targeted at a specific employee to look like it is a legitimate message.
- In 2014, data breach attacks compromised more than 1 billion records in 2014 through just 1,500 data breaches.
- According to research from Gemalto, the majority of data breaches are done for the purpose of identity theft. Since the telecommunication industry is expanding into data identity features, the need for cyber security improvements must happen if the industry is going to continue to improve their revenue share.
Research and development investments in the telecommunication industry have given us a number of innovative products and services. After all, we don’t usually sit around for the modem to ring through our phone line to reach the internet. If we have a web page load slower than one second, it often feels like an eternity, right? That R&D must now focus on consumer security as we all move toward a digital identity in more aspects of our lives. As we share personal information, the industry must look for ways to keep it from those who are trying to use it for nefarious purposes. Without this focus, the potential growth for the industry may stall.
What for Large Providers to Shift Away from SMBS
- Many major companies in the telecommunication industry are shifting their B2B focus from SMBs to large international businesses. The focus for these large providers is often based on economies of scale.
- According to Wynn, the value of the SMB market is worth $28 billion currently and is growing at a 20% annual rate.
- Look for new opportunities within the telecommunication industry to serve SMBs despite the need to provide them with a greater level of customer service. To do so, Deloitte believes that carriers will need to continue to focus on providing data and voice services that are high quality, reliable, and affordable.
- Wi-Fi usage will continue to be key, especially as carriers look to offload more mobile traffic onto broadband networks, especially fiberConsiderations around other spectrum efficiency technologies and potentially unlicensed spectrum solutions, such as LTE-U, Voice over LTE (VoLTE), or Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) services begin to have greater levels of demand.
- Wearables and smartphones will be two areas to watch in particular, especially with the ongoing popularity of apps. Even large providers will focus on these areas of service to streamline communication with their large-scale prospects.
- According to research from Deloitte, 74% of consumers use a smartwatch on a weekly basis, and 66% of consumers use a fitness band weekly. Look for the industry to tap into these specific markets, along with mass data consumption opportunities.
- Location-based services and mobile advertising also represent areas of potential revenue growth for the industry, but only if it has developed the new products and/or services that consumers will be demanding.
- Analytics and the overall mobile ecosystem – basically anything that makes life easier for a consumer – will also be a point of emphasis.
- Watch for the next generation of wireless network technology, such as 5G, helping to maintain revenue growth as well.
It really wasn’t that long ago when it seemed pretty awesome that you could boot up your Tandy 386 and talk to someone half a world away in a chat room. Email was something that was revolutionary. Now that telecommunication industry sits at a point where another revolution is about to happen. There are trillions of dollars at stake. As long as innovation keeps coming and consumer demand for information keeps growing, there will always be positive growth potential for this industry. That’s why the next 5-10 years look to be an extremely exciting period of time for everyone involved.