For the last few years, the telecom industry has been on a roller-coaster ride. There was never a dull moment as the industry saw many highs, lows and some defining events. Some of the key telecom highlights of 2018 include: mobile tariffs and 4G services becoming more affordable; telcos taking the route of consolidation and strategic partnerships for growth; end of the iPhone’s golden era and cloud taking a center stage in telecom service provider’s growth plans.
Amongst policy frameworks for India, the implementation of the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018 was one of the major policy developments of the year gone by. Under NDCP,India plans to create 40 Lakh new jobs in the digital communication sector and provisioned access to broadband for country’s every citizen latest by 2022. The futuristic policy also targets to develop a sustainable model for India’s next generation technologies.
Amid an intense financial crisis in the industry, the telecom sector is expected to continue to transform and see more collaboration models to gain further grounds. We look at some of the key trends that will shape the industry in 2019:
Focus on 5G ecosystem
Globally, many telcos have developed 5G architecture and plan to begin their field tests in 2019. India is also expected to follow them soon. While the country is yet to fully exploit the benefits of 4G, government’s eagerness to prepare the country for the next generation digital economy will push telcos to get themselves ready for 5G services. India’s 5G spectrum auction process is expected to be completed by mid-2019 so that the 5G services can be introduced by 2020.
In 2019, the telcos will focus on developing the 5G ecosystem and strengthening their network capacity to meet the growing demand of high-speed broadband services. Some of the telcos may start offering 5G as a premium service to their consumers in 2019. 5G will also drive the adoption of technologies such as Automation and IoT.
Collaboration for content
In the present telecom market, it’s extremely critical for telcos to distinguish themselves from the competition and monetize their subscriber base in providing access and connectivity. Retaining existing consumers and acquiring new consumers can be possible only through better service quality and exclusive content tie-ups. In 2019, telecom operators such as Vodafone, Reliance Jio and Airtel will continue to explore the collaboration opportunities with players such as Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and independent content providers to bring original and on-demand content to their subscribers.
In today’s era of digital payments, the smartphone has become synonymous with its owner’s identity. This has made internet security more important than ever. As telcos network is swiftly becoming software-defined, fraudsters are constantly exploring ways to exploit their vulnerable infrastructure to trick the naïve internet users. In 2019, telecom service providers and equipment vendors are likely to focus on strong encryption strategy to address the growing consumer security concerns.