The telecom industry is undergoing a period of transition. In recent times, telcos have seen a decline in traditional revenue, loss of growth in the B2C sector, and dipping average revenue per user. However, the contribution of popular telecom industry trends such as IoT, OTT, and AI in boosting profits and improvement of processes during the past few years has sparked the hope for growth in the industry. Of late, the stringent regulatory measures that have been imposed on telecom companies are putting them under immense performance pressure. The big question is how many of these telcos will be able to exploit the recent advances in telecommunications to their advantage and how many will succumb to unfavorable market conditions. Let us explore some of the telecom industry trends that players in the industry need to keep a close watch on in 2018:
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Telecom Industry Trends
Traffic Expansion is on the Rise
The latest technology-related telecom industry trends that promote high user value for the mass market will increase the demand for bandwidth, connectivity, subscriptions, software, and hardware-based SIM cards. But the big challenge here for telcos is to build the additional infrastructure for new technologies such as 4G, 5G, and Nb-LTE to accommodate the increased traffic volume in a way that satisfies shareholders. Unless telecom companies are able to reinvent themselves to meet the increasing demand, the growth in traffic and new technology will not result in improved revenue.
Growth in the IoT market
New services being deployed on top of old technologies will help the Internet of Things (IoT) market to grow significantly. It is also likely to make the transition for consumers to new developments easier and cheaper. As far as telecom industry trends are concerned, 2018 will prove that intelligent homes and smart cities can be attained gradually without a complete overhaul of network and technology. An example of this is devices for cars On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port, which transforms old cars into intelligent cars that can be controlled by using a smartphone.
Bidding Adieu to 2G
In the era of 4G, 2G has become obsolete. This year it is likely to see several telecom operators decommissioning 2G and GSM networks and initiate a complete switch to 4G and LTE networks. This means that we can also see a rise in the rate of cheaper 4G enabled phones. Operating on 4G networks also increases the scope for operators to save more, prompting them to expedite the process. This is going to be one of the radical telecom industry trends to watch out for in 2018.
Disruptions in the Existing Value Chains
Earlier telecom was a vertically integrated industry where the same firm sold network access, service, and the device. However, diversification of the value chain has brought the opportunity for market entrants in the telecom industry. In 2018, we can expect telecom industry trends with more partnerships between operators, IoT providers, MVNOs, MVNEs, and other players.
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App Bottlenecks to Catch Regulators’ Eye
The dominance of Google and Apple in the app store market is being challenged by a few smaller competitors in the market. While there is room for apps that offer unique features, most of the app-based services are delivered through the two app stores that Apple and Google own and operate. This year we can expect app store bottlenecks, and related platform algorithms to be under the regulators’ radar.