Telecom network operators have always relied on technology but have often taken a conservative approach, valuing stability from established systems above improvements through innovation. Faced with a rising tide of user expectations from the flood of OTT services, MNOs have now shifted their priority to streamlining their operations, improving the customer experience with real-time, agile telecom solutions.
To stay competitive, network owners and not only, will look beyond their traditional technology suppliers and seek out innovation.
Here are some innovative telecom solutions and technologies you need to be aware of:
SDN (software-defined networking) is a new architecture for data networks in which the emphasis is shifted from hardware to software. Being able to control networks through software allows for the streamlining of many IT tasks. Speed and automation are thus relevant for the development of IoT and cloud networks.
According to CM Research, SDN technology is disruptive, because the network can be controlled by more players than ever before.
A closer look at SDN solutions reveals that there are open source as well as commercial solutions available on the market. NOX, POX, OpenDaylight are free, while Big Data Fabric, Virtual Application Network, and Contrail can be purchased.
The emergence of 5G (fifth generation mobile networks) is around the corner. 5G will provide faster speeds, greater coverage, as well as less latency in comparison with 4G networks. This is essential for the connected things of the future, such as VR, holograms, driverless cars, or drones.
Even though the industry consensus holds that 5G technologies will become publicly available by 2020, companies such as Verizon and Ericsson have announced that field trials will be run in 2016.
SK Telecom (the first to roll out 4G) has completed a successful 5G system field test this April. Park Jin-hyo, who is the senior vice president and head of SK Telecom’s network tech, said that the company plans to lead the development of 5G technologies and services and be the first one to commercialize it.
Huawei is not far behind. This May they have completed the first phase of key 5G technology tests as a part of field trials.
Solutions for smart cities
New opportunities for growth can be found in the development of solutions for smart cities. There is a municipal demand to operate cities more effectively by implementing platforms that allow to manage and monitor city lighting or video surveillance systems.
Citizens wish to have technologies that make their lives easier at their fingertips. As consumers, they inspire companies to create innovative telecom solutions that, for example, allow payment for parking or public transportation using one’s smartphone.
A UK based company offers an app that lets its users pay for the parking and it also allows to extend the parking duration remotely.
An innovative telecom solution allows commuters in Singapore to pay for the bus and train tickets with their phone. The technology enables data transmission between a mobile device and a contactless card reader.
To enjoy the service, customers have to purchase NFC (Near Field Communication) SIM cards and turn on their devices’ NFC function to make payments or top-ups.
This telecom solution allows to get rid of both cash and travel cards when paying for the transportation.
Mobile Money telecom solutions
GMCS (Global Mobile Consumer Survey) has demonstrated that from 2014 to 2015 mPayment (mobile payment) technology has increased in 4 times. eMarketer estimated that the total value of mobile payment transactions will grow 210% in the US in 2016. This happens thanks to the support from customers, governments and central banks.
Mobile money telecom solutions can be used by operators for a range of mobile money services, such as money transfers, international remittances and mobile payments. Business of all types, from coffee shops to digital stores are implementing point-of-sale systems that allow customers to pay using mobile devices, therefore it is anticipated that the mPayment method will soon be adopted by many users around the world.
Innovative telecom solutions are going to predetermine the direction of the development of the entire industry. Companies that invest in the capabilities, technologies and relationships to foster changes now, will have an advantage for many years to come.