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Big Data Challenges Troubling Managers in the Telecom Industry

Feb 2, 2018

The growth of the telecom industry over the last few years has remained somewhat stagnant. The reason for this sluggish growth can be attributed to declining revenues from voice-based services, as the preference has shifted towards the use of data. However, growth in terms of technological innovations has been more than outstanding. The recent technological innovations range from new 4G and 5G technologies to IoT integration. The telecom industry is expected to increase its subscriber base massively to estimates of 5.6 billion unique subscribers globally. But the burning question that arises here is whether the telecom industry is ready to handle such large numbers. The overwhelming data collected from billions of customers along with other operational data can be a mountain to climb for players in the telecom industry. So what are the big data challenges telecom players will be facing in the coming future?

Big Data Challenges in the Telecom Industry

High Capital Expenditure

Anyone working in the telecom industry would tell you that the capital expenditure demand due to data growth is their biggest challenge as of yet. This problem arises due to changing trends in the consumption of data services over voice services. For instance, instead of making calls and texting people prefer WhatsApp and Skype, driving the growth in data traffic and bandwidth usage. To cater to such demands, telecom operators have to invest hugely in infrastructure and also strive for cost efficiency. The operators should also invest in infrastructure to facilitate big data analytics.

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Network Analytics

Network monitoring products deliver value to players in the telecom industry by collecting data from the network, analyzing it, and presenting actionable insights to the network manager. It helps optimize the network, reduce downtime, and improve the overall efficiency. To embrace big data technologies, many network operators are choosing to apply advanced analytics to network data to gain more valuable insights. The most significant big data challenges in doing so involve the process and political issues in sharing data efficiently with relevant stakeholders and dealing with uncooperative vendors.

Data Storage Issues

The global unique subscriber base in the telecom industry was close to 5 million subscribers in the year 2016 already. The growing number of 3G and 4G subscriptions will only add to the amount of content and user data generated over the next few years. As the amount of data generated grows exponentially, players in the telecom industry will face big data challenges in terms of storing all this information. Additionally, companies will have to look at automated data migration strategies and tiered storage data management to lower the cost of handling all data. Data storage is one of the top big data challenges in the telecom industry as the data repository keeps on growing on a daily basis.

Integrating IoT

IoT is still relatively a new territory for the companies in the telecom industry. One of the big data challenges for the companies would be to deal not only with smartphones but multitudes of devices including refrigerator, speakers, sound systems, and temperature control systems. Telcos have to depend and collaborate with companies driving the IoT phenomenon like IBM, GE, Deloitte, and Intel.

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