Telecom: Digital Transformations

Posted by : Ajit Jain / Posted on : 06-Jan-2021

Gone are the days when telecommunication was about telephone calls only. Now it's about the information society and how information is delivered to individuals or organizations. This includes network services, voice, mails, messages, digital entertainment, and education. Does this ring a bell as to why 5G is so important (and the upcoming G series). Telecom is the backbone of all technology as we can’t take a step without communicating.

Such privileges from simple and easy to buy subscription plans are a result of managed complex networks, hardware, and services. With complexity comes solutions to issues and this short read is about how the telecom industry problem solve various issues via Digital Transformation. This list is not specific to network service providers and not exhaustive, but will list down the most popular initiatives.

Network:

  1. SDN or NFV
  2. Network Optimisation, Automation, and Security
  3. Downtime Prediction, Fault detection, and self-healing network
  4. Edge services management and IoT Analytics

Automation

  1. Process consolidation.
  2. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
  3. Automatic Ticket Routing

Consumer Experience

  1. Customer Segmentation and Market Basket analysis
  2. Offer personalization and Recommendations Engine
  3. Customer Service Automation via NLP, Chatbot, and Virtual Assistance
  4. Churn Prediction

Vendor

  1. Fraud Detection
  2. Catchment area analysis
  3. Tower Surveillance and Predictive maintenance

But all these solutions are not there only to handle complexity. With technology, Telco is fundamentally changing how value is delivered to customers. Telco players are now able to offer many diverse offerings at scale, personalized at the click of a button. Now more than ever Telecom is expanding service portfolio, offering new digital services and addressing new industry vertical with strong revenue potential. 5G is only going to make this scenario better.

A large chunk of data is consumed in B2C segments specifically smartphones accounting for almost 90% of the data traffic which in the last 5 years grew 5 to 10 folds by absolute volume with the largest jump seen in the Asia Pacific. Now we know where the large share of the pie is let's keep the term personalization handy. This is because personalization drives consumption but to personalize analytics is necessary and to deliver this personalization it will be impractical to build an army of customer service thus automation is evident.

No wonder analytics is the top investment priority when it comes to telecom digital transformation because what to and how to automate heuristics will come from analytics itself. Most of this analytics will go into customer expectation management and delivery on offering consolidation (with OTT) and development, CRM, and Customer Services front. The second or equivalent contender is Network virtualization or NFV where it is expected for telecom companies to have 50% of their offering hosted on the cloud. Virtualization is also expected to reduce human intervention and save costs.

Telcos are sitting on a mountain of data but most of this data is not monetizable because of agreement with the users or consumers. Virtualization is a slow process because of already existing huge physical infrastructure and long term commitments. Earlier the players in the telco industry sought a monopoly in the market but now they are seeking more collaboration and mark their value proposition via offering and services. It would be interesting to see how this industry fairs against these challenges and upcoming opportunities like 5G.

Hope you enjoyed the read.

We will be writing this series on Digital Transformation in different industries and will share on a BiWeekly basis.