What will be the 5 most influential telecoms trends of 2023? | NTT DATA

Mon, 13 February 2023

What will be the 5 most influential telecoms trends of 2023?

As leaders in global innovation, the UK’s telco networks are always on the lookout to spur the adoption of promising new technologies.

Networks are fighting pressures from within and without and the need for innovation is becoming ever-more pressing. At the same time, many speculative conversations from 2022 are maturing into discussions around the business applicability of new technologies. As a result, the top trends for the year ahead often marry pressing business needs with technological progress.

1. Energy efficiency and cost transformation

Managing rising costs and soaring energy bills will be a major theme for telcos in 2023. Rising energy prices have seen telcos come under greater strain from the increasing operational expense of their redundant or legacy infrastructure. This is particularly pressing for many telcos, as the wave of mergers and acquisitions over the past several years have seen their stock of legacy infrastructure grow markedly.

This has all led to demands from stakeholders for network executives to cut costs. Across the board, cost pressure is increasing, and so businesses are going to be looking to improve their energy efficiency in general. In particular, many telcos will look to cut the running costs accrued by legacy infrastructure.

2. Combining 5G and MEC

The merging of 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) will continue to grow in 2023, becoming a larger story as more hyperscalers and datacentres experiment with and use these technologies.

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) have begun to fully realise the benefits of 5G and edge computing ecosystems, such as high bandwidth, low latency, and trusted computing and storage. That’s why channel collaboration has increased between CSPs and Systems Integrators (Sis) to deliver a transformational agenda for the enterprise.Also, we’ll see operators continue to explore the ways in which a multi-cloud proposition from the edge could provide them with a can get them B2B revenue uplift.

3. Consolidation of altnets in the fibre market

With the UK prioritising a nationwide gigabit broadband roll-out to cut the gap in connectivity between cities and more rural areas, the arrival of alternative network providers (altnets) has changed the dynamic of the industry.

Altnets, the agile challengers to traditional networks, have experienced a period of rapid growth over the last few years. As they mature and grow over 2023, we’ll see a similar trend of mergers and acquisitions in the fibre market alongside what we're already seeing in the mobile industry. Their scaling potential will make these altnets particularly attractive targets for investment.

4. The search for the killer 5G application

2023 will see the search continue for the killer 5G application. We have already seen 5G’s capabilities and limitations with limited 5G standalone (SA) deployments, but now the hunt begins in earnest for the most practical, profitable uses — with new 5G SA rollout announcements coming out all the time. While this search will be intensified, large organisations need to start leveraging this new technology by deploying multiple small use cases that ensure return on investment.

Meanwhile, the 5G market is becoming a more fragmented space as more players enter and consumer preferences evolve. The industry is waiting for a killer 5G application, which is likely to arise in some sort of edge use case that can take full advantage of 5G’s strengths in bandwidth and latency.

5. Orchestration of the ecosystem

The telco ecosystem is becoming increasingly complex, with a mix of technology players, traditional network operators, altnets, IoT companies, and system integrators all vying for market share and customer retention. Networks are facing a need for multi-vendor orchestrators and management platforms.

To manage platforms coming from multiple suppliers, the overall digital transformation solution can't just rely on connectivity. It must also include applications, computer vision, drones, cameras, AR/VR headsets, and more. Ultimately, this means any digital transformation solution will be something that enables a seamless ecosystem of devices and platforms from the end-user’s perspective.

These multi-vendor orchestrators and management platforms will create capabilities whereby B2B businesses can instantly use devices and platforms without lengthy configuration and provide more value to the end-customer. Managing the ecosystem, not just the platforms, will become more and more relevant.

Choose the right partner

As we move into 2023, it's clear that the telecommunications landscape is shifting. Cost pressures are increasing, and people are under the cosh to make the most of what they have - even while competition increases and new technologies change the dynamics of the industry.

While many of today’s challenges are common to all businesses, NTT DATA understands that every organisation is different. We work in close partnership with clients to design a digital approach that aligns with your unique business goals.

Your business could accelerate out of the recession ahead of the competition and NTT DATA can help. As a first step, we’d like to set up a workshop to identify the best ways to support your objectives.

Please get in touch to find out more.

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