Featured in TechCircle – 2024 will be a breakout year for Telecom players willing to leverage modern digital technologies

While Gen AI is the forerunner, advancements in cloud, data monetization & security, digital IT architecture, 5G, emerging satellite capabilities will provide the impetus, writes Rajiv Papneja

TechCircle, February 12, 2024

There are several factors acting in confluence to bring a new technology wave in 2024. While the application of Generative AI is clearly the forerunner, advancements in edge cloud, data monetization & security, network autonomy, digital IT architecture, 5G, and emerging satellite capabilities will provide the impetus. We’re already seeing domain-specific providers leverage these advancements to offer cutting-edge solutions and services to global Communications Service Providers (CSPs).

Looking ahead, I see the following trends emerging significantly on the global Tech & Telecom landscape:

Networks as an Experience to create new differentiations: Imagine a Telecom or Broadband Network that proactively addresses connectivity faults through acquired self-healing powers, prompts subscribers and enterprise customers about interruptions in advance, co-pilots rapid prototyping & testing of new products to create sticky customer experiences, and rectifies disruption with automated remediation. With AI-Native, autonomous operations and secure data intelligence on cloud, the Communications Industry will embrace a Data, AI & Cloud-first strategy to deliver Networks as an Experience to customers.

Quantum-safe encryption to ensure integrity & authenticity of transmitted information: Classical cryptography algorithms are proving to be ineffective in fighting modern-day threats, making it necessary to advance encryption and secure data in the age of Quantum Computers (QCs). The primary goal of any consumer-facing enterprise, particularly in the Communications industry, would be to guard against attacks leveraging Quantum Computers, and ensure regulatory compliances for data privacy.

Democratizing Generative AI with increased industry contextualisation: While it was only last year that Gen AI burst on the scene, it is already becoming a key investment across industries – be it retail, finance, telecom, or banking. In 2024, we will see the emergence of clear business outcomes across the modern enterprise in IT, back-office, business operational efficiencies, and customer experience management. Some key persona-based use cases of enterprise search, productivity improvements, cybersecurity, marketing & sales, contact center transformation & event post-mortem analysis are becoming flagship cost-saving areas for accelerated adoption.

Unlocking Data Intelligence amid a maze of laws & the push for monetisation: Enterprises will need to make investments and partnerships with domain specialists to comply with myriad data compliance rules worldwide and create insights from various data marts. With compliance costs rising, businesses will seek out specialist service providers who can help draw rich data insights by breaking organizational siloes while adhering to the complex web of data laws. In convergence with this trend is the emergence of Edge Cloud, which leverages AI to create new insights from never-before-seen data. Additionally, we are witnessing the emergence of a new breed of GPU-as-a-Service data centers, as consumers want high Quality of Experience and the agility of customized services.

Transforming Contact Centers to Personalised Experience Centers: Contact Centers have been the first port of call for any new automation technology hitting our shores – right from IVR to agent assist to RPA and more. Still, a majority of the operations remain human-dependent. With increased contextualization in Gen AI-led Large Language Models (LLMs), this is set to change as we enable users to customize and control AI and help improve their relationship with trust. Gen AI is already rapidly advancing contact centres to an autonomous End State through mechanisms such as copilot & personalized assistance synergizing with classical AI-driven service actions. We are on an accelerated path towards transformation of Contact Centers & customer operations through LLMs equipped with the right context in Telecom services.

Innovation in Satellite Communications for Emergency Response:Satellite Communications will take giant steps in public consumption and safety through 2024, with wireless carriers striking deals with Space businesses to beam satellite internet directly to our smartphones (Direct-to-Cell service). Public agencies seeking to respond real-time to distress calls and disaster incidents, particularly in Maritime or calamities like floods or forest fires, are adopting Low Earth Orbit satellite communications, given their insulation to any terrain-based impact. In the future, LEOs will be the mainstay in this application for their scalability, reliability, and seamless integration with existing Communications systems. This is a new area of opportunity for CSPs to collaborate and offer seamless global connectivity to enterprises and bundled cloud on-ramp solutions.

Mainstreaming Extended Reality:Extended Reality, encompassing virtual, augmented & mixed reality, will find more adoption as hardware becomes more affordable and allows for higher volumes of content. With clear use cases across entertainment, education, and healthcare, we will see an improved success rate of XR across industries.

To unlock the full potential of this wave, Global Communications Service Providers (CSPs) should partner with service providers with high telecom relevance. This will help them advance to AI-Native networks, accelerate migration to the cloud, and build data intelligence systems to make customer experience intuitive and delightful. As we foresee the convergence of several technological advancements, we believe 2024 will be a breakout year for CSPs willing to leverage modern digital technologies across their functions.

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