The new year has arrived. And in the telecommunications industry, we expect it to be busy. That’s a prediction we’re making that you can take to the bank. We won’t leave it at just that, though. We’re about to go on record with well over a dozen other telco predictions. We’re basing these on what’s been happening in 2016, what our customers have been talking about, and what other prognosticators have been saying. Of course, we present these to you with a caveat: these are predictions, and predictions are what Merriam-Webster defines as “what will happen or might happen in the future.” So with that, in 2017 we predict …
1. Increased demand for video streaming to smartphones and other devices. Demand was already high in 2016. Add to that the growth in live streaming. Consider the 2016 Olympics in Rio. NBC said its Olympics’ digital coverage set event records with 3.3 billion total streaming minutes, 2.71 billion live streaming minutes, and 100 million unique users. This football season, NFL games were available to live stream, according to Variety. More than 2 million tested the Twitter stream of one game. And millions of 4K capable TV devices in consumer homes will drive up the number of cloud-based video networks and storage. Exponentially, we’ll add.
2. Many vertical industries embracing the Internet of things (IoT) to enhance their business opportunities. You’ve heard the numbers – billions of connected things, like machines on the factory floors, vehicles, railcars, utility meters, airplane parts, health monitors, etc.
3. More cloud-based video-on-demand and content distribution network services deployed at the edge of the network, driven largely by the 4K video streaming and cloud DVR demands.
4. Network-as-a-service (NaaS) and network functions virtualization (NFV) consumer service deployments moving from trials production.
5. Multi-vendor deployments will become an imperative for telcos’ digital transformations.
6. Increased focus on the operational performance and security of hybrid virtual infrastructure among telcos.
7. 5G/cloud radio access networks (RAN) deployments for mobile private network and IoT services that will drive distributed architectures to meet lower latency and increased mobile speed demands. Cloud RAN is a proposed architecture for future cellular networks that centralized, cloud-based and supports 2G, 3G, 4G and future wireless communication standards.
8. Fiber access network expansions to enable future 5G/IoT and mobile-edge computing (MEC) deployments. MEC, by the way, gives app developers and content providers cloud-computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of the mobile network.
9. Early narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and 5G deployments for specific regional markets. NB-IoT is a low-power WAN radio technology standard for connecting a range of devices and services using cellular telco bands.
10. Emerging markets deploying LTE-only networks. This will help providers in those markets offer more advanced services without having to worry about offering legacy 2G/3G deployments.
11. Increased security risks and exposure to vulnerabilities that come with IoT-connected devices.
12. Hybrid public/private cloud service deployments will drive the need for tight integration between security and networking functions.
13. Government pressure for lawful intercept and surveillance will increase due to national security threats.
14. Consumer demand for encrypted virtual private network (VPN) services will increase.
15. Renewed interest for alternative mobile payment solutions from both government and retail sectors.
16. IPv6 content will surpass IPv4 in emerging markets.
17. Increased consumer demand for managed WiFi, due to macro-cellular spectrum limits.
So that’s it. Our telco predictions for 2017. We could probably add on several more, because the telco market is going to be very active. We’re ready! Oh, and tell us your predictions for 2017 in the comments section below.