The telecommunications sector is an epicenter of innovation, growth, and new AI-enabled, cloud-based, and open technologies.
With the aftermath of the pandemic still impacting industries on a global scale and technologies shifting rapidly, it’s important to take a strategic approach to the highly competitive and agile market. Understanding and preparing for the future tech and trends that will revitalize the telecommunications industry positions you for success.
The Expansion of 5G Deployment
5G is the newest wave in the telecommunications industry. Bringing more than just better speeds, 5G empowers massive communications within congested IoT networks, leveraging the full power and potential of IoT and its data. 5G also offers low-latency communications necessary for mission-critical business applications moving into the future.
Some of 5G’s primary benefits include high-speed connectivity, a necessary component of business success and customer satisfaction, as well as lower costs and lower latency. 5G-powered infrastructure and devices are slowly deploying and increasing adoption.
5G is necessary for many applications, including:
- Smart factories
- Robotic surgery
- Smart homes
- Agricultural drones
- Assistive robots
- AR/VR shopping
- Collaborative gaming
- Smart cities
- Autonomous vehicles
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT is seeing widespread adoption in both industrial and consumer sectors. This is partly due to the impact of the pandemic, particularly in industries that can’t easily switch employees to remote work, like manufacturing. To adapt, many of these businesses implemented intelligent technologies and 5G-enabled IoT devices to address their needs.
IoT devices are only becoming more intelligent, available, and agile, so we’re likely to see their adoption grow in the coming years. The telecommunications industry will need to find scalable ways to sustain the market and allow people, data, and processes to connect.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are vital to the future of IoT and Big Data. In fact, together, these are among the most significant telecommunications trends. Businesses use machine learning and AI for everything from predictive maintenance to meeting customer expectations to improved network reliability.
Data is necessary to all modern businesses, including those in the telecommunications industry. Both machine learning and AI can help businesses generate valuable data and analyze it faster for real-world insights and actions.
One prominent example of AI-enabled technology is virtual assistants or chatbots for customer support and troubleshooting. These tools provide personalized customer service and address the customer’s needs quicker, all with the help of data. Telecommunications can use this technology to predict trends and monitor services for bugs, outages, or other problems that may impact the customer experience.
AI-Enabled Conversational Platforms
Along the lines of the previous example, AI-enabled conversational platforms are a specific use case that’s worth mentioning. The use of AI is only expected to grow in coming years as more and more businesses find unique and creative ways to use it, including telecommunications.
AI-powered customer service is a big investment for the telecommunications sector. Conversational AI is also used to empower business telephony for providing better customer service. In addition, the telecommunications industry is using predictive maintenance and network optimization to continuously improve services for businesses and consumers alike.
The pandemic brought a huge shift to remote work and internet-based services, even in industries not previously thought possible. Security is paramount to remote, online services in any industry, but especially for telecommunications.
During the rapid shift to remote work, businesses relied on the cloud. Technologies like 5G networks strengthen security and provide more efficient remote capabilities, which would otherwise be vulnerable for both businesses and remote teams.
The telecommunications industry places a lot of value in managing data security, so AI can’t be limited to the data center – it needs to hit the device level with edge computing, such as i.MX 6.
With the data analyzed close to the device and the end user, networks can depend on low latency levels and high connectivity. Edge computing significantly enhances data transfers in real-time and takes instant action on identified problems, taking some of the work off of the cloud.
Telecommunications can speed up data processing in real-time using connected devices with edge computing. As data volume, IoT adoption, and consumer expectations grow, edge computing is expected to grow with it.
Most consumers and businesses have smartphones and other smart devices, which rely on a strong internet connection for nearly all of their functions. The market demands a reliable internet connection to support the transfer and consumption of a high volume of content, including the telecommunications industry.
This trend includes the usage of high-resolution content for improving the quality of media, such as images, videos, and music. In addition, there’s a demand for virtual reality and augmented reality, which is becoming more commonplace.
All of these media and entertainment needs require high-resolution content and high-speed transmission with minimal latency – the weight of which is on the telecommunications network.
One of the options is dedicated internet, which connects to the internet via a dedicated private connection. Businesses increasingly rely on good bandwidth for critical business processes and content, and having a dedicated internet option provides symmetrical upload and download speeds, a secure, private connection, and steady speed, no matter what’s happening on the rest network.
If media consumption and transfers continue, network optimization is vital.
DevOps isn’t new to telecommunications, but its use is growing and rapidly shifting toward virtualization platforms. These businesses can deploy new, advanced, and functional DevOps, but network stability is still essential. DevOps allows telecommunications processes to stay efficiently and reliably.
Other benefits of DevOps include effective control over the network, real-time orchestration, minimum time-to-market for new services, and no manual configuration. Ultimately, DevOps offers efficiency and highly scalable solutions.
Moving the Telecommunications Industry Forward
The telecommunications industry is under a lot of pressure, but faces tremendous opportunity to grow and improve with future technology. Adopting technology solutions like 5G, IoT, predictive analytics, network optimization, AI, and edge computing using single board computers, such as the NXP i.MX 8, can give telecommunications the tools to succeed with modern and innovative technologies.
Article written by Jason Khoo Jason is the Head of SEM at SolidRun which is a global leading developer of embedded systems and network solutions, focused on a wide range of energy-efficient, powerful and flexible products which help OEMs around the world simplify application development while overcoming deployment challenges.