Top five telecommunications trends to watch in 2021

By Igor Gorkov, CEO of Nexign

December 17, 2020

In 2020, telco operators worldwide faced a challenge associated with the new normal. They played a prominent role in keeping teams together by effectively managing network bandwidth in residential areas across the variety of connectivity options. Now operators are exploring fully contactless retail models and investing in robust solutions to optimize their coverage and network utilization to come fully prepared to the evolving service consumption model.

Igor Gorkov, CEO of Nexign, outlines five trends that will have a huge impact on telecommunications industry in 2021:

1. 5G capabilities for industries

5G technology will address a wide scope of business use cases and open up new revenue opportunities for the operators. Enterprises in the industrial sector will be assessing the commercial benefits of private 5G networks to fit individual requirements in coverage, bandwidth, latency and reliability. The licensed spectrum and ability to offer services on top of networks contracts will give operators a competitive advantage in the verticals introducing eSIM-based M2M solutions in smart manufacturing and transportation.

2. A tangible value of eSIM

Operators will increase the support of eSIM technology. Still being a novelty in consumer handsets, eSIM turned out especially practical in wearables and smart devices, delivering opportunities for upsell by offering shared bundles for multiple devices or specific roaming services. Development of the digital service channels will enable operators to deliver a digital-first user experience and ensure a zero-touch activation.

3. Customer care going beyond telecom services

While stellar CX is becoming the main differentiator in highly competitive telco markets, CSPs are investing to deliver on the expectations of the new generation of subscribers by utilizing a contactless omnichannel service model and using AI-driven tools for automated assistance. Following the experience during the pandemic, CSPs will prioritize the enhancement of self-service capabilities to reduce the cost of operations and reduce customer waiting-times. Integration with national identity management systems will facilitate personalized and frictionless access to smart city services (such as healthcare and education services) contributing to social resilience during the ongoing pandemic.

4. Operator’s autonomy

The stress of COVID-related disruption, as well as security threats that never went away make operators carefully balance between cloud and on-premise solutions and pay closer attention to planning resilient georedundant solutions. No matter what strategy is chosen, CSPs are striving to build the internal expertise to avoid vendor lock-in and become true owners of the solutions they pay for, employing managed service only to handle specific applications. This is the area of joint innovation where the vendor helps the operator accelerate time to market for new services.

5. Global momentum for marketplaces

With the growing need to quickly obtain resources for the fast-track projects and offer the assets in surplus to their peers, operators are building marketplace platforms to streamline the lagging procurement processes. The new industry standards and emerging cross-border use cases will drive them to federated platforms offering a gateway to globalized markets.

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