Predictions 2022 | More Competition Between Telecom and Big Tech as 5G Expands

By Igor Gorkov, CEO at Nexign.

The year 2021 in telecom was not only marked by the lingering effects of the pandemic but also by emerging technological trends that are likely to develop and shape the entire industry into something new within the next five years. 

The most fundamental of them is the ongoing competition between telecom operators and the big tech in the world of digital services. It is likely to underpin nearly everything occurring in telecom in 2022 acting as the bedrock of the industry’s emerging trends.

In this feature, Nexign CEO Igor Gorkov takes a closer look at those trends and tries to predict what they would bring about in the new year.

  • Agility is the new black. Agility will find more applications beyond management and cultural aspects. Employing agility-based approaches allows companies to diversify their transformation strategies, varying it from full-fledged to process or app-specific. This would allow operators to mitigate risks associated with delivery or spending and tackle problems on the go instead of waiting for the critical mass to accumulate to completely overhaul the entire system, be it IT infrastructure or business process organization. Therefore, more and more operators will be implementing the microservices-based modular architecture to be able to adapt to the new market and customer demands easily, with dramatically shortened time-to-market, and at a lower cost.
  • Partnership is paramount. Building ecosystems and partnerships will become vital for telecom as they allow operators to optimize their value chains and find new revenue sources. To reach more of them, telecom operators will be actively raising the level of flexibility and transparency of their infrastructure while integrating partner applications into their IT landscape, and offering more partner-powered services to their customers. In line with the trend above, they may also employ co-branding strategies to borrow customer recognition from their partners and thus reach wider audiences.
  • New brands from old players. Telco customers expect an experience similar to what they get from the big tech, which will shape the competition with the companies in this sector. Since technological corporations have the edge of being more familiar to younger audiences as providers of digital services and experiences, telecom companies will be seeking new ways to engage with their prospective subscribers. Operators, therefore, are likely to create and promote new agile brands to address this gap while extensively using personalization and simplification approaches to their offerings and leveraging the new opportunities brought about by 5G.
  • 5G monetization. While some telecom operators have already embarked on their 5G journey, others are only testing the waters. The year 2022 is likely to usher in the simultaneous monetization of 5G capabilities in the public and private sectors. As mobile service providers reinvent themselves as lifestyle enablers, fixed operators will, too, have to seek new opportunities to compete with 5G-empowered mobile rivals. With the ongoing transformation of 5G from innovation into a business opportunity, telecom operators will have to seek mergers or partnerships with media and internet companies and reconceptualize their operations.
  • Transformation-enabling culture. Operators will have to reshape their brands and open up their ecosystems moving away from the image of service providers towards being seen as digital-like companies. They will also raise the ownership level of their IT landscape and require greater transparency from their existing vendors. Those processes alongside the new normal of hybrid or remote work will challenge the existing models of business operation. This will entail changes not just in the customer experience, but in the entire corporate culture. Companies will be employing more agile tools to improve their corporate culture and make it more innovative and open so that changes and new technologies.


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