Connected isolation: new challenges for telcos in a time of pandemic

By Artemy Ustimenko, Product Development Manager at Nexign for Telecom Reseller.

May 27, 2020

With international borders closed and the majority of the global population stuck at home, businesses must quickly adapt to a new reality – and telcos have a leading role to play here. There are a few ways providers can handle new challenges.

Working from home is the new priority

Have you recently been driven mad by the inability to access your own email while working from home? In many residential areas, broadband networks were designed for casual use and simply cannot handle the switch to an office-style model. In this situation, mobile networks have more flexibility, allowing them to stay functional. Now is the time for MNOs to introduce the latest congestion management and traffic prioritisation solutions.

Going contactless

One sad consequence of the pandemic is that direct human contact has become something people try to avoid by all means. This is creating unforeseen CSP use cases for eSIM technology, which provides the mechanics for attracting new subscribers without physical shops. Telcos in emerging markets should also make sure their BSS supports the latest payment methods, so that people do not have to leave their homes to get paper vouchers. E-commerce technologies will be in high demand as people’s consumption models evolve, and CSPs can be a driving force here too.

Last mile, last yard, last foot

With mobile device tethering coming to the rescue of those who have had problems with their fixed networks, people feel more comfortable with the idea of radio as their main way of getting online, as will be commonplace in the upcoming 5G era. Fixed networks will still be the ‘nervous system’ for long-distance traffic flows, but more elastic radio networks are becoming increasingly suitable as a last-mile solution. Fixed operators can jump on this bandwagon by creating specialised MVNOs or standalone 5G segments. Another reason why home Wi-Fi can be sluggish is interference from neighbours’ networks. Using public spectrum Wi-Fi creates a situation whereby uncoordinated networks try to drown each other out. Connecting devices directly to a 5G network can be a win-win solution.

An infrastructure of partnerships

This new and unforeseen load on broadband and mobile connections leaves no room for underused infrastructure. Integration mechanisms such as SCEF can help content providers adjust their streams according to the network situation to avoid service interruption. Business users will need secure and reliable connections for their new distributed networks of home employees. And operators will no doubt be on the lookout for new ways to boost usage of their redundant infrastructure, or seek out the additional resources they need by connecting to the new asset exchange platforms.

Internet of drones

The period of isolation will definitely have taught us a lesson about new applications for 5G connectivity. We will see increasing demand for reliable connections from the mission-critical medical and rescue services, which are digitally transforming their routine operations. And at the unavoidable moments when humankind is better off at home, 5G-enabled security and delivery drones will ensure that we all are fed and safe.