The Telecom industry has been a largely behind the scenes enabler to the advancements in other industries. Across verticals, organizations are driving technical innovations and building the digital economy using connectivity provided by their network operators. This spans healthcare, finance, manufacturing, retail, and more. It is nearly impossible to think of an industry that is not leveraging the power of connectivity.
That is why network operators and Telecom providers are in such an unusual place right now. While Telecom enables these trends, it is not driving or participating in them itself. Industry approaches to infrastructure and operations have remained largely stagnant, despite new opportunities offered by the digital needs of their customers.
Digital innovation and growth powered by telecommunications will continue to be a major enterprise focus. It will therefore impact how network operators must approach infrastructure and operations to be able to execute more efficiently and successfully on these global digital trends.
3 Trends and Industries That Will Affect Telecom In 2018
Here are the top three trends and industries that are driving change and offering opportunity in the Telecom space.
- Digital Transformation
Digital transformation refers to the transition happening across enterprises to leverage digital technologies across business units to improve efficiency, accessibility, and performance. Digital transformation is affecting day-to-day operations, as well as how organizations interact with consumers. This transition is moving quickly, with 55 percent of decision makers stating they have a year or less to make significant progress in digital capabilities before falling behind competitors. Digital transformation encapsulates multiple other trends that rely heavily on fast, reliable connectivity including cloud adoption, the Internet of Things, and automation. These trends cannot be overlooked. For example, the average enterprise uses 1,427 separate cloud services, which would be impossible without network connectivity.
The need for organizations to quickly make inroads on their digital transformation plans has huge implications for the Telecom industry, as each of these increasingly critical business functions requires fast performance with low latency. Connectivity is the recipient of this trend that is driving many other organizations, and therefore has the opportunity to greatly expand their network and ROI.
- Transition to 5G
Tying into the trend of digital transformation is the push for a faster transition to 5G wireless. As consumers and organizations become more reliant on mobile applications, IoT, and cloud, there is a need for greater bandwidth capabilities and speed. To meet this demand, fiber providers need to start building out this infrastructure as they continue to build on 4G connections.
The rollout of 5G will be resource intensive for fiber providers, which means they need to start planning now so 4G deployments and customer service for current users is not interrupted. Providers need visibility into their current infrastructure, as well as that of OffNet partners to begin planning routes for 5G deployments. This will also require necessary permits are acquired and maintained, and that data on capabilities by location are regularly updated and distributed to customers and building management teams. This will ensure they are aware of future opportunities to work together in other locations.
- Commercial Real Estate
Commercial real estate has been influenced by digital transformation and 5G, and will similarly have an impact on the networking space. As businesses increasingly demand high-performing network infrastructure to support their digital initiatives, commercial real estate firms must now put a greater emphasis on these capabilities when planning and equipping commercial spaces. Ensuring this connectivity is also a win for building owners, as fiber connectivity can add on average 3.1 percent to a property’s value.
As buildings go up, building management will be need to be in contact with network providers early on to establish an understanding of their OnNet, NearNet, and OffNet capabilities. Terminating into these new NearNet locations, or OffNet locations through partners, can bring immense value and ROI to network operators. Therefore, they must be prepared to respond to these RFPs and network location requests with the necessary location data in a timely manner.
How the Telecom Industry Can Execute on These Trends
The networking industry is on the receiving end of these trends, in which major organizations and industries are now making key business decisions based on network connectivity infrastructure and status. Capitalizing on these trends requires fast action from Telecom providers based on market intelligence and predictive analysis. However, despite increased digitalization in the organizations they serve, many network providers still rely on outdated, manual methods for correlating and distributing network location intelligence.
For the Telecom industry to take full advantage of fiber optic demand in the coming year, they need to trade inefficient manual processes for their own digital transformation using automation and intelligence to reach new markets.
Connected2Fiber’s SaaS platform helps network providers take advantage of these trends by providing in-depth location and market intelligence, as well as automated building list distribution. Building List Manager provides network providers with instant access to a current list of network assets that can be automatically distributed to partners and prospects. This minimizes the amount of time sales and marketing professionals must spend on manual list and data management, allowing them to focus on growing the network to meet digital demands.
As connectivity becomes core to critical business functions across industries, network operators have to ensure they are ready to capitalize on this demand in an efficient way. The best way to do this is to adopt these digital capabilities themselves, relying on automation, intelligence, and cloud computing to respond to prospects quickly to ensure termination into optimal locations.