Rising to the challenge of change: How the telco industry will take on 2022
Our expectations of telecommunications providers are unrecognisable in comparison to what they were a few years ago. Before, all we wanted was reliable connectivity; but now, we are constantly looking for enhanced ways to consume content and interact online.
And bringing the workplace to the home has added a new layer of importance to these services, as we seek providers that can support our work life alongside our home life, says Andrew Walker, global communications & media industry lead at Accenture.
The past two years have shown us just how important telecommunications are to modern life and telcos are finally getting the recognition they deserve. We continue to live through a period of flux and transformation, and as a result there are many more opportunities for growth and development amongst telcos. Here are three ways the industry will continue to surprise and delight customers in the new year:
5G will go one step further in solving society’s problems
5G has arrived on the latest handsets, but we haven’t yet seen enough compelling evidence that this new technology is going to have a significant impact on our lives. To consumers, cellular network upgrades are starting to feel like small, incremental improvements, not worth the extra investment but that will all change when we see more real-life examples of how 5G underpins the way we live and work.
At home, superfast wireless is supporting the shift to remote work and enable sustainability in a totally new way by helping to make us more connected and productive. For small & medium businesses, it is creating new opportunities to engage customers through digital platforms, while for enterprise companies, it is enabling remote monitoring in industries like manufacturing, oil, gas, and mining environments, saving time and protecting worker safety. In hospitals, healthcare professionals will get access to greater monitoring capabilities to improve patient care. All of this means greater efficiency, but also less strain on workers themselves.
In the year ahead, we will see more 5G use cases come to life, inspiring even more individuals and organisations to use its capabilities to solve societal challenges from sustainability to safety and security, as well as the opportunity to close the digital divide.
Metaverse environments will make room for more innovation
Virtual worlds are already well established. We are more connected virtually than ever before, and every single day, people put their headsets on and play games, talk, and interact for hours on end with people all around the world. Clearly, the demand is there for people to find new connections beyond the physical world, and it seems increasingly clear that 2022 will be the year big tech makes an extended push toward these environments in new ways.
These virtual worlds will get even richer and more interconnected creating an unending need for secure, reliable, fast connectivity. Telco providers will need to build out rapidly to capture share as these new applications and universes are created, to both continue to be the trusted partner, as well as to avoid inviting competitors into their territories who deploy new high-speed networks faster and who disrupt the market.
Engineers, developers, creators, policymakers, and telco partners are all planning to come together to build these new universes. We can expect to see this level of industry collaboration and cooperation unlocking significant innovation and encouraging a cross-pollination of ideas helping to take virtual experiences to the next level. As the connectivity bridge into these worlds, telcos will be crucial.
AI and analytics will transform the human experience
In recent years, telco providers have been shifting to the cloud and investing in AI and analytics which is critical to providing a better customer, partner and employee experience. In 2022, more telcos will be focused on transforming the employee experience.
The ‘Great Resignation’ is impacting all sectors, and in a candidate’s job market employers need to think about how they can make roles as attractive and rewarding as possible. Telcos need to show employees how their role can evolve, which could mean digitising manual tallying and mechanical activities.
As with 5G, carefully integrated technologies will bring greater efficiencies to businesses that go beyond productive performance and into employee support and collaboration. Less time spent on menial, time-consuming tasks should result in more engaging work, and consequently happier and more productive employees. This will ultimately mean these workers are better equipped to deliver an enhanced customer experience too.
The past two years have uncovered a lot about how people want to work and how they’d like to communicate and telcos have kept pace. 2022 will be another year of great transition, but one in which the possibilities will expand beyond what seemed possible just a short time ago. Now that the industry has everyone’s attention, it’s time to showcase what’s possible.
The author is Andrew Walker, global communications & media industry lead at Accenture.