Telecoms predictions for 2020

2020 Telecoms predictions

It wouldn’t be the beginning of the year without a piece on predictions. Inside Telecom has put together our top Telecoms predictions for 2020, from some of the most influential people in the business.

A move to speed-based pricing for mobile

Even though operators are not currently charging a premium for 5G services, this doesn’t mean they cannot in the future. The world of fixed broadband has offered speed-based pricing services for a while now and it makes sense that telco’s will continue to follow suit. 5G mobile broadband offers substantial improvements in network speeds, capacity and quality and consumers are increasingly getting used to paying more and more for the best connectivity. Analyst group CSS Insight, predicts that the majority of 5G operators will transfer to speed-based pricing by 2021. This will be particularly relevant for operators that want to offer mobile broadband and fixed wireless access in the 5G era.

The rise of the private network

It is expected that there will be a rise in the number of private 5G networks in the coming 2 years. The networks will be a local area network (LAN) and will involve operators using 5G technology to build and create a network. Such networks are expected to carry all the features associated with 5G including, low latency and increased speeds. Private networks will be the most direct and accessible option for large businesses that wish to benefit from 5G, however these networks may be offered by infrastructure, cloud or other software vendors. Businesses – particularly those involved in manufacturing and industry, are looking forward to using private 5G networks to access high-level perspectives on their sales and operations. Operations and monetization of these networks will be integral to their success

Telcos evolve their focus from NFV to cloud native

Despite the amount of public cloud partnership announcements, operators will continue to substantially invest their resources on evolving to cloud native principles. This includes shifting from VNFs (virtual native function) to CNFs (cloud native function) regardless of the choice to utilise public cloud platforms or not. This shift and investment to cloud native is what will enable dynamic network capabilities and will massively streamline the cost and time to market for digital services. Consequently, there will be less excitement around cloud itself and a much stronger focus on cloud native progression taking place inside the carrier’s data centers.

eSIM devices and 5G to stimulate the launch of pure digital parallel brand businesses

The expectation to move towards all things digital quickly has prompted automated businesses to focus on turning new technologies such as eSIM and 5G services into tangible consumer propositions. This will further push operators to launch dual brand concepts. Providing excellence in terms of digital care will become a top priority without the restraints of old bureaucratic processes.  

5G indoor coverage will gather momentum

This year, landlords will request that current wireless coverage systems be easily upgraded to facilitate 5G. This is a cost-effective solution for them and can provide both venue owners and operator’s longevity and ROI (return on investment) for purchases. From a technical perspective, upgrading systems and platforms to 5G will mean wider frequency bands on the spectrum. This will boot capacity rather than coverage.

Innovation in spectrum will enable the rise of new 5G players

The rise of 5G will see new players coming into smart cities, IoT devices and private networks to disrupt the market. These newbies will also need spectrum and are expected to drive innovation and regulation in terms of allocation. Many countries including the USA, Japan, Germany and the UK are currently regulating bands of spectrum to be available through shared and priority access. As 5G gains prominence in 2020, this will however encourage innovation, disruption and of course competition in an emerging market. Traditional CSPs (communication service providers) will develop to open cloud networks, network sharing, network slicing and new spectrum, to reach the cost structures, agility and innovation to compete in 5G.