Almost exactly 2 years ago, we wrote our article about the top 5 telecom trends. We would like to expand on this now.
So far we have been in the right, mostly.
- Our prediction around the move away from fixed and mobile voice services and commoditisation of data is definitely happening. Data plan allowances are increasing, albeit at same prices but consumers are generally getting more value as they roll over to new plans.
- Battle around the content is occurring but even in the larger scale than anticipated… in the age of social distancing, Netflix has become practically indispensable. Disney has launched a popular Disney+ online streaming platform that reached over 50M customers in only 5 months.
- Network security is still critical and only increasingly so driven by geo-political instability
- Internet of Things (IoT) is slowly taking off, albeit at slower speed than predicted. Deployments of 5G will certainly increase the proliferation of IoT. So this prediction we may have missed a little but if anything we called it a bit to early.
In addition to the above we would like to augment the list a little – mainly on the back of COVID-19 impacts and expected customer behavioural changes.
Let us list some of the key observations:
- Network usage is skyrocketing, including data as well as voice volumes.
- Significant proportion of staff are working from home… this is likely to continue for months in large numbers but in the long term also. Once companies and staff realise that negative productivity impacts from remote working are minimal, we will see a more wide acceptance of the teleworker. While certain situations and roles will always require in-person attendance, many others will operate completely well remotely and deliver benefits such as reduced travel, traffic congestion, pollution and demand for office space – all of which will gradually translate into cost savings for companies.
- Network reliability will become critical and ongoing concern. Internet will be treated the same way as the power is treated – necessary utility.
- Remote collaboration is leading to very innovative ways to operate
- Retail is increasing the move to on-line. Few last remaining retailers without online presence are now providing web-based self-service
Obviously there are some negatives which also need to be considered:
- Inequality in society is likely to increase. This will unfold gradually over time as mainly millions of unemployed remain out of work due to structural changes in certain industries.
- Populism ascent post GFC caused mainly by rising inequality (which itself was caused by globalisation’s impact on skills relevance and inadequate long term government policies) will continue and even grow further
- Unemployment will have impact on demand but luckily telecom services are very much necessary and will be spared to a great extent. Some pressure on prices and value will increase from customers both retail & corporate, as they themselves look for savings and cost minimisation in own businesses.
That is all we have time for so let’s see how it goes.