The telecom sector is made up of companies that aid in the transfer of information possible on a global scale, whether it is through the internet, phone, cables, airwaves, wire or wirelessly. The infrastructure created by these companies allows data transfer through voice, words, audio or video, anywhere in the world. Satellite manufacturers, telephone operators, internet carrier providers and cable companies provide seamless support towards the development of the telecom sector.
In developed countries, the telecom sector becomes the backbone for enhancing human life quality. This industry has changed beyond its recognition in the past 10 years, with clients’ wishes and competitive landscapes moving in approaches that few could have expected. Post 1995 countries have witnessed a surge in mobile telephone penetration. India was a late starter but eventually has emerged as the fourth largest promising market in the telecom sector in Asia, after China, Japan and South Korea. In fact, India has emerged as the eighth largest in the world and second amongst the growing economies.
We can consider that the telecom industry is the center for digital growth and will continue to play the role of a disruptor. In our social and work fabric, terms like mobile, cloud, analytics broadband etc. have become a common lingo. Video streaming, digital payments etc. etc. have become an obvious choice.
Thus, the future of the telecom sector will have to deal with additional advancements posited by new technologies. Some digital applications of the future generation technologies are cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3-D Printing etc., where devices shall communicate with each other. Big data and analytics are also there and thus proper policies must be at place to handle security and privacy issues. IoT and other associated technologies are likely to compound these problems.
Through a qualitative based research study on select TSPs, authors have crafted a list of TSPs across the world, which is around 79 in numbers. All these TSPs were examined on the basis of their journey that included their total revenue, usage of the future generation technologies etc.
Global TSPs using 3G technology
The figure represents twenty-one (21) TFs that are engaged in providing services in the 3G technology domain (or more). Some firms in their business life trajectory either did not address this or straight away started with 3G technologies, as a late entrant.
Our next challenge was to hunt TSP’s addressing their future readiness. On this, we had a clear understanding that TSP’s that had intention to use 4G and 5G technologies in near future. Our list narrowed to about twenty-three (23) operators, with firms like Jio in India, starting with 4G technology. There was an additional filter applied after investigations and we came up with TSP’s either engaged or about to in the 5G domain. The figures below provide a list of 4G and 5G TSPs.
4G Global TSPs
5G Global TSPs
We expanded our investigation around the globe, thereby identifying few countries where the telecom sector is active. We found that there were 37 countries and 79 TSPs across worldwide. Majorly, countries have only one TSP and few have two or more.
Out of the 37 countries spread around the geography, only 11 TSPs seem to be embracing the use of 5G technology.
Countries like China, France, India, USA etc. are pacing to be future ready because of their geography, customers demand and the required economic growth etc. Countries like China and the USA have taken a lead in this sector because of their VUCA readiness and foresightedness.
It can be concluded that the telecom sector will play a dominant role in shaping the industries of the future, with a backup support like that of a spine. The next generation monitoring system will provide intelligent and holistic monitoring throughout all layers of telecom facilities. In our exploration, we have clearly seen that only two countries have taken a lead in development of 5G and have also started developing applications for future generation. We are moving towards digitisation and digitalisation with the help of future generation technologies and all of this can only be possible by fast speed networking and data sharing services that can only be given by the next generation mobile networks (5G onwards) by the telecom sector. This is the future of telecom.
The TSPs have started thinking in this direction and must bring in foresight to resolve the immense responsibility they have in hand. The game changing complex technology revolution has been seeded, the industry is about to witness change and the telecom sector has to build capacities and capabilities as the back bone in shaping economies. They must play a responsible role in the coming future. Let us witness soon!
Click here to view the complete report by Centre for VUCA Studies, Amity University