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Looking Beyond - Ten Trends to Watch into 2014 and Beyond

January 8, 2014 9:00 AM | Category: New RevenuesHappier SubscribersPricing InnovationBetter ServicesPolicy ControlSubscriber Analytics,  | by Jim DeMarco CTO

    1. Beyond Bandwidth

LTE is rolling out, but not yet available in many regions, and yet discussions around 5G are already in full swing. The path to increased bandwidth for operators is accelerating. Once mobile broadband provides a similar experience as fixed Internet the number of users actually looking for even higher bandwidth will decrease.

Mobile Operators who will still invest in mobile broadband build-out will need to look at other differentiators. The industry will move from an era when technology and performance drove differentiation to one where performance is mere table stakes. The paradigm shift will be toward differentiation based on brand, empowerment and ease of use. 

    2. Beyond Legacy

Survival is for the fittest, or more properly, for those who adapt. In the past mobile operator business has been driven by subscriber growth and this was also a key indicator of company success. With the "Limits of Growth" operational efficiency, optimized internal processes and organizational setup will become the focus of activities. Streamlining processes and removing elements that do not provide value to the customer and business will be essential for future profitability and long-term survival. Operators need to abandon legacy systems that slows them down but not change for legacy’s sake. Customer-centricity is the new focus point of systems architecture, as is customer empowerment. 

    3. Beyond the Cloud

Cloud Computing and Virtualization have fundamentally changed the paradigms for IT and data centers. Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) drive these technologies into the mobile operator’s core and access networks. This will dramatically change the way networks are operated and new services are rolled out. Shared resources, excess capacity management and disaster recovery approaches will evolve toward an environment where even mission critical systems will leverage shared resources, driving an efficiency of operations unprecedented in the telecommunications industry. 

    4. Beyond the Phone

Communication is no longer only related to phone calls, browsing the Internet or sending messages. Intelligent, smart devices will be a growing "community" of communication elements. We are moving to the Internet of Things, with a much larger amount of devices than currently used for personal communication. 

    5. Beyond Privacy

As the volume of customer data increases exponentially, so will the ability to track customer patterns, profile customers and provide rich information in real-time about connected customers. Service providers will need to build clear patterns of trust with their customers, through transparent privacy governance and clear customer agreements.

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