2016 has been a crucial year for the telecommunication industry. We saw infrastructure improvement in both mobile and broadband platforms. Operators looked tirelessly for fresh techniques to create a continuous connection between apps and services produced by new technologies and to improve video streaming. As we begin 2017, telecom experts will try their best to continue with the amazing trends in telecommunication.
The race for 5G was hot in 2016, and this trend is expected to continue this year. Google, Uber, and Ford have already established their blueprints. We expect most of these companies to initiate their field tests this year. 2017 will see the first wave of 5G architectural attempts. It will witness the initial stages of commercial offers launched amidst widespread testing of the technology. For instance, most developers will focus on improving the level of access to the database. Expect significant changes such a 1GB access to 10GB or 10GB to 100GB. Such improvements will allow a smooth transition from 4G to 5G networks.
There will also be a significant increase in the number of research connected to 5G networks. We will see a lot of advancements coming from industries outside the conventional telecommunication market. Some of the industries that will play a major role in 5G development include agribusiness, energy, and transportation. Carriers and government agencies have already made significant efforts in 5G development with an ambitious goal of rolling out the new network to thousands of consumers by 2020. Providers will also adopt the millimeter wave spectrum for all 5G networks.
Value-added services and OTT
Over-the-top service will be a hot area this year. OTT will be highly favored, especially with the growth of live streaming and increasing demand for non-linear media consumption by the public. The growth of OTT in 2017 will place a lot of financial and infrastructure pressure on network operators. Most telecommunication service providers will partner with each other in order to become primary OTT solution experts. This will see an increase in net profits. They will also be in a position to offset the downward price pressures easily.
Fixed Wireless Technology
Many experts in telecom admit that fixed wireless is shaping up well for 2017. Companies such as Google, Verizon, and AT&T have already put in place different mechanisms that will help them come up with new and innovative ways to make fixed wireless technology work in telecommunication systems. With the 5G spectrum almost available, fixed wireless will have a major bandwidth boost. There are already tests being done in different companies. Organizations such as the Connect America Foundation require their carriers to comply with the broadband deployment offered through fixed wireless platforms.
Offering wireless connectivity to commuters and other IoT applications will have stronger appeal for many carriers. We will find internet providers with several IoT applications this year. The good thing is that there will be no stiff competition because companies have equal opportunities regardless of their financial might.
2016 was full of news about data breaches in high-end companies. One of the most significant data breaches occurred in Yahoo where a group of unknown hackers gained access to customers’ email accounts. Such scenarios have made network providers and operators realize that there is dire need to come up with more robust protection techniques than just data being transported over the traditional systems. Operators have realized that the infrastructure linking networks has become as much vulnerable to attacks as the bits and bytes sent through the network they support.
Operators spent most of 2016 searching and testing new securities given the multitude of risks. Most of them rolled out the business-wide encryption services. In 2017, network security will be more important to operators than ever. We will see it via encrypted data move from a niche play to a more aggressive technology. The year also marks the last lap for operators and their customers to roll out GDPR readiness solutions to ensure compliance with the EU recommendations. The data demand landscape will also expand. With the expansion, systems will be more vulnerable to hackers. Hence, operators will have to take stringent security measures.
Consolidation and Bundling
Consolidation and bundling are already a popular trend globally. Over the past few months, we saw AT &T announce its acquisition of Time Warner in order to improve how it delivers connectivity to thousands of clients. Many telecommunication companies will merge to expand their service portfolio and seize new opportunities. One of the hottest opportunities to look out for in 2017 is the software defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). SD-WAN has immense benefits to the enterprise customers and the Internet of Things enthusiasts.
The telecommunication trends discussed above indicate that 2017 will be a big year for the industry. Every party involved in this industry will have something new and unique to talk about before it ends. Above all, most people are eagerly waiting for 5G to come to life this year. It will surely be the talk of the town in 2017.
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