Network digital transformation is what the telecom industry has been talking about for quite some time. Yet, while mobile Internet has given consumers the possibility to access everything instantly, communication service providers haven’t really kepts up with the digitization in the telecom industry. But this is changing, with almost 70% of leading telecoms saying that 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the most important emerging technologies that will be driving their digital transformation over the next five years.
The Digital Future of the Telecom Industry
Automating processes and increasing business agility are the main goals in most telecom 5G digital transformation projects. Tools such as self-service portals, omnichannel commerce and care solutions are the next most common aims, arising from the need to empower increasingly demanding customers who want high-speed mobile Internet and a more convenient shopping experience for digital services without the need to actually contact a customer service agent.
Laid out in black and white, these goals look straightforward. But it takes time to perform a digital network transformation in a business and associated IT in a way to fully meet these expectations.
Telecom Business Transformation
For CSPs, digital transformation and 5G means implementing omnichannel sales and marketing solutions to ensure a seamless customer experience that simultaneously allows operators to analyze customer data in real time and create personalized, well-tailored offers – all in a way that is open to collaboration with partners and allows them to offer unique digital services, which could differentiate them from the competition.
SDN/NFV technologies and SON (self-organizing networks) take the lead from the network perspective. Mobile Internet is driving ongoing efforts to speed up networks, with IoT services requiring support from appropriate network resources and configuration and individual users’ needs for capacity increasing every year. This is where 5G and digital transformation are crucial from the CSPs point of view.
BSS/OSS systems also have a major role to play, offering re-usable components and a reduction in the number of IT tools required. With certain elements (such as service blocks, product offers, processes and software) re-usable across multiple geographical regions, telecom operators can optimize costs and save a significant amount of time. In short, telcos are seeking to consolidate and simplify the multiple software stacks they have built over the years, so they can support new business processes (such as omnichannel) and network technologies (SFN/NFV), and therefore gain the speed and agility that they require.
What comes next for the telecoms?
It’s clear that the many varied aspects of CSP digitization demand of telcos a clear vision for their 5G digital transformation in business, network and IT. 5G technology is without a doubt a massive innovation that provides improvements in wireless capacity and latency, but in order for it to work the way it is supposed to, operators simply must adopt automation within their services. CSPs have no choice but to transform – as quickly as they possibly can, if they want to keep up with the market and their customers’ needs.