Big data analytics, robotic process automation, chatbots and blockchain will significantly improve communication facilities, while also ensuring increased revenue generation for the telecom industry.
The telecom industry is no stranger to the adoption of cutting-edge technology. Communication providers have realized that the disruption happening around the world has necessitated innovation in their sector too if they wish to stay ahead in the race with competitors. The industry has, therefore, always been a pioneer in embracing modern technology trends to improve their infrastructure for providing enhanced services to the general public.
Long gone are the days when people only used landlines to make phone calls and SMS to send a text message. Today, the world is going digital. With the help of smart devices and high-speed internet, people can communicate with friends and family from anywhere in the world. And telecom companies are engaged in a race with other operators to provide the best possible service to their customers. While digitization has opened up a few challenges for the telecom companies, it has also brought in a new wave of opportunities. And to grab these opportunities, the most promising technology trends in telecom have to be identified and leveraged. Let’s trace the evolution of the field from its origins all the way to the latest technology trends in telecom that are helping operators improve their profit margins while ensuring high-level customer satisfaction levels.
Historical Evolution of the Telecom Industry
If we trace back the history, it is evident that the telecom industry has always sought change and innovation. Take for instance the earliest era of the telecommunication industry. The first attempt to make communication possible was in the prehistoric phase. This era saw smoke signals and drum messages, which allowed communication to happen over a very limited geographic area. Then arrived the Pigeon post era in the 5th century BCE. In this era, messages were attached to the pigeon and were sent to the destination. Due to their homing abilities, pigeons could travel back to their territory once released.
In the 4th century BCE, the hydraulic semaphore system was invented by Aeneas Tacticus. This method of communication proved to be of great help during the first Punic war. Years passed and further innovations were made in the way communications took place. Finally, in the year 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Telephones allowed electronic speech and permitted people to communicate with each other even when they were far apart. Then in the year 1896, wireless transmissions started taking place using radio waves. Later in the year 1927, the first working television set was introduced, where monochromic moving images were broadcasted. With years of experimentation, research, and refinement, color broadcasting was then made available in a majority of developed nations. 1973 saw the advent of mobile phones, and, in the year 1981, the first mobile network was invented. 1983 then welcomed the arrival of the Internet. Since then, rapid advancements were seen in this area. Today, with the inception of smart devices, people are hungrily waiting to consume massive amounts of data, expecting greater bandwidth, consistent service, and lower latency. Hence, the current state of the telecom operators is to offer services that increase customer satisfaction levels, which will make them stand out among others.
Emerging Technology Trends in Telecom
Considering the hyperconnected era, challenging competitiveness, and rising customer expectations, it’s no secret that the following technology trends in telecom have become a mandate now. Let’s check out some ground-breaking technology trends that can help the telecom companies extend revenue streams, and compete and thrive in this era.
1. Big Data Analytics
Telecom companies are struggling to improve their bottom line and enhance customer satisfaction levels like never before. The hyperconnected era has made the situation even worse for these companies. However, big data can be helpful for these telecom companies to cope with their issues. The telecom companies can collect customer care call records, social media chatter, network traffic, to understand the sentiment and intent of customers. The intelligence gained by analyzing big data can then be used to take responsive action as quickly as possible. For example, collecting social media information can help companies understand if customers are satisfied with their service. If not, it helps the companies make informed and strategic decisions to alter their service. Besides, companies can glean insights on whether a customer is uninterested to continue with their service plans. Instances like these can negatively impact company growth. Hence, companies can connect with customers and offer them services as per their preferences. With the help of big data analytics, marketing divisions can alter their campaigns, thereby improving customer service while also gaining more profits.
2. Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process automation (RPA), will allow telecom companies to reduce operating costs, bring efficiency and accuracy into their operations, and enhance the overall customer experience. Powered by AI, software robots have now reached a level of sophistication where they can sense, analyze, and comprehend any given circumstance. For example, RPA can interpret and understand the context of emails to decide on the actions that need to be taken. Situations in which RPA can provide the necessary assistance can be handled well by the tool itself. RPA will pass on the more complex work to humans. Be it email communication, report generation, dissemination of data, invoice processing or other back-office tasks, RPA can execute all of these efficiently and accurately.
Major telecom companies deal with a massive customer base. Managing and serving such a huge user base is not an easy endeavor, for obvious reasons. The telecom companies have to, therefore, maintain round the clock support services. Impatient customers expect telecom companies to solve their issues and problems as soon as possible. In this context, chatbots can be of great help to these telecom companies.
Chatbots, also considered as one of the best information acquisition tools, can offer 24*7 support assistance to customers. Any doubt, any additional assistance required, any queriy, can be easily handled by chatbots without human involvement. Since they don’t experience fatigue and don’t require rest, chatbots can provide uninterrupted service to customers. Besides, chatbots can also promote cost savings.
Telecom operations involve multiple entities and stakeholders that manage complex transmission-related activities. Due to the involvement of several stakeholders, there could arise transparency issues. Blockchain could solve any dispute and trust issues regarding the transparency of activities.
The decentralized, immutable, and tamper-free attributes of blockchain embed trust into every use case it offers. As a result, friction-free transactions and business operations can be carried out by various key stakeholders. For example, the telecom companies can leverage blockchain for identity management. All the customer information can be recorded on a blockchain network. As the data stored on the blockchain technology is locked by encryption, it will be safe and secure against fraudulent activities. As telecom companies continue to grapple with frauds and hackers, blockchain can become an effective solution against these issues.
Innovative technology trends in telecom will, without a doubt, transform the existing business models, create new revenue streams, and also enhance customer satisfaction levels. The telecom companies should, therefore, keep their finger on the pulse, follow the latest tech trends, and act on them to stay ahead of the competition.
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