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Telecoms predictions for 2020




2020 Telecoms predictions

It wouldn’t be the beginning of the year without a piece on predictions. Inside Telecom has put together our top Telecoms predictions for 2020, from some of the most influential people in the business.

A move to speed-based pricing for mobile

Even though operators are not currently charging a premium for 5G services, this doesn’t mean they cannot in the future. The world of fixed broadband has offered speed-based pricing services for a while now and it makes sense that telco’s will continue to follow suit. 5G mobile broadband offers substantial improvements in network speeds, capacity and quality and consumers are increasingly getting used to paying more and more for the best connectivity. Analyst group CSS Insight, predicts that the majority of 5G operators will transfer to speed-based pricing by 2021. This will be particularly relevant for operators that want to offer mobile broadband and fixed wireless access in the 5G era.

The rise of the private network

It is expected that there will be a rise in the number of private 5G networks in the coming 2 years. The networks will be a local area network (LAN) and will involve operators using 5G technology to build and create a network. Such networks are expected to carry all the features associated with 5G including, low latency and increased speeds. Private networks will be the most direct and accessible option for large businesses that wish to benefit from 5G, however these networks may be offered by infrastructure, cloud or other software vendors. Businesses – particularly those involved in manufacturing and industry, are looking forward to using private 5G networks to access high-level perspectives on their sales and operations. Operations and monetization of these networks will be integral to their success

Telcos evolve their focus from NFV to cloud native

Despite the amount of public cloud partnership announcements, operators will continue to substantially invest their resources on evolving to cloud native principles. This includes shifting from VNFs (virtual native function) to CNFs (cloud native function) regardless of the choice to utilise public cloud platforms or not. This shift and investment to cloud native is what will enable dynamic network capabilities and will massively streamline the cost and time to market for digital services. Consequently, there will be less excitement around cloud itself and a much stronger focus on cloud native progression taking place inside the carrier’s data centers.

eSIM devices and 5G to stimulate the launch of pure digital parallel brand businesses

The expectation to move towards all things digital quickly has prompted automated businesses to focus on turning new technologies such as eSIM and 5G services into tangible consumer propositions. This will further push operators to launch dual brand concepts. Providing excellence in terms of digital care will become a top priority without the restraints of old bureaucratic processes.  

5G indoor coverage will gather momentum

This year, landlords will request that current wireless coverage systems be easily upgraded to facilitate 5G. This is a cost-effective solution for them and can provide both venue owners and operator’s longevity and ROI (return on investment) for purchases. From a technical perspective, upgrading systems and platforms to 5G will mean wider frequency bands on the spectrum. This will boot capacity rather than coverage.

Innovation in spectrum will enable the rise of new 5G players

The rise of 5G will see new players coming into smart cities, IoT devices and private networks to disrupt the market. These newbies will also need spectrum and are expected to drive innovation and regulation in terms of allocation. Many countries including the USA, Japan, Germany and the UK are currently regulating bands of spectrum to be available through shared and priority access. As 5G gains prominence in 2020, this will however encourage innovation, disruption and of course competition in an emerging market. Traditional CSPs (communication service providers) will develop to open cloud networks, network sharing, network slicing and new spectrum, to reach the cost structures, agility and innovation to compete in 5G.

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Cloud telecom infrastructure with Etisalat

Inside Telecom Staff



Cloud telecom

UAE Telecoms giant Etisalat has announced its plans to work with an association of global tech leaders to introduce a new vendor platform that will aim to provide cloud telecom infrastructure and host developing futuristic technologies and services.

The creation of this respected group is aligned with the company’s corporate-wide programme launched to ‘cloudify the network’-dubbed ‘Sahaab. Sahaab is an Arabic word that means cloud. The programme will focus on deploying the right criteria of hardware-centric telecom services and software-centric cloud services.

The group itself consists of NEC as the prime overall integrator, Netcracker, Redhat, Juniper and Dell who will all collaborate with Etisalat to install and roll out the second generation of NFV (Network Function Virtualisation)/ SDN (Software Defined Networking). These two technologies are closely related and commonly associated with the enablement of smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT) and the upcoming 5G future.

The infrastructure will be built against industry leading architecture developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The most recent technologies will then be set up to provide the highest levels of performance, agility, elasticity, and well-organized and efficient operations. The technologies include Network Function Virtualization Orchestrator (NFVO) from Netcracker, Software Defined Networking (SDN) controller from Juniper-Contrail, Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM) from RedHat-Openstack, and a collection of automation and operations tools like Ansible, Zappix, git-lab, ELK, and Bacula.

Esmaeel Hammadi, Senior Vice President, Network Development, Etisalat said:

Today’s announcement is of strategic importance as this platform will be a pillar for Etisalat’s long term strategy of driving digital technologies to empower our services and build the infrastructure to incorporate emerging technologies. As we transition into the digital future, it is essential to invest and implement the state-of-art methodologies in cloud computing by engaging with global leaders. This will ensure services on our network are agile and provide the best performance for major projects like Expo 2020, World Government Summit, AFC Asia Cup among others.”

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The role of immersive technologies in the telecom industry

Fayza Bjayou



Telecoms industry

Immersive technologies can have a defining role in the world of telecoms, creating a broad scope of opportunities to support the changing, complex nature of the telecoms landscape. The industry at present, makes large investments in maintaining and developing its infrastructure, to ensure that technology across industries is represented by seamless, uninterrupted services. Deploying augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can offer significant support to an increasingly complex system of services that require ongoing operational maintenance.

When distance stands between the problem and the maintenance specialist, disruption and delays are inevitable. In a world where businesses rely upon the seamless connection between their services and the network provided by their operator, it can cause immense pressure for both parties involved. Using augmented reality (AR) to fix maintenance issues remotely, provides a viable solution. This is a cost- and time-effective approach, that will ensure more repairs are made by the most trained and competent specialists. Immersive technology will replicate a real-life installation and maintenance situation for experts to assess. AR can be used by technicians to establish open audio-visual dialogue with an expert from anywhere in the world, which means an increased number of remote site visits and real-time consultations. Immersive technology in this context, provides double-sided benefit of both increased learning and productivity.

VR and AR can be used to effectively assist and train both current and future staff personnel. One of the major stumbling blocks faced by management in the telecom industry is ensuring consistent standards of practice and performance among their team members. AR and VR can be leveraged to boost knowledge retention and professional engagement. Immersive technologies can provide training without the need for time-consuming workshops, that would otherwise mean taking an entire group away from their work-environment – Studies have shown that this approach may boost GDP by $294.2 billion by 2030. The figures indicate the broad scope of potential in augmented reality in the workplace and offers unlimited access to those who wish to understand an area of specialty that may otherwise be difficult to facilitate in their surrounding physical environment.

AR and VR technologies can take operational performance to the next level. Utilizing such tools will ensure a more stream-line, efficient system that better responds to the advancing trends and requirements of the global market.

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En route to the world’s first Smart Hospital

Inside Telecom Staff



Smart Hospital

Lately, it feels like 5G is the only thing we ever seem to be talking about, and for good reason. When we think about 5G, we think about the many possibilities of innovation that could revolutionize services across industries. The medical world is no exception. Based on rapid technological advancements and the growing demand for better healthcare services, Korean Telecoms giant, KT Corporation, along with Samsung Medical Centre (SMC) have partnered up, to create a 5G-based smart hospital to power new medical practices.

KT built a dedicated 5G network at the medical center, created service environments in operating rooms and also carried out test operations. Both parties intend to develop the world of smart patient care along with 5G, innovative medical practices, to improve the efficiency of hospitals.

KT, in partnership with the Samsung Medical Center, is pioneering innovative medical services for the new 5G era,” said Park In-Young, Vice President of KT’s ICT Convergence Business Department. “We will continue to further refine 5G-powered medical technology by applying VR and AR technologies for real-time education.

Both parties had been applying 5G on the premises as a means of creating improved medical services since they signed an agreement late last year. The services encompass digital diagnostic pathology, access to proton therapy information, teaching surgery, artificial intelligence-enable care for in patients and an autonomous robot for operating rooms.

The 5G-driven digital pathological analysis (conducted by SMC) is a brand new international example of using innovation using 5G technology methods and equipment for medical procedures. Tissues are taken from the patient during surgery and treated for analysis and then sent to pathologists in an adjacent room. This took around 20 minutes of walking back and forth, which made it hard for pathologists to conduct onsite analyses.

Fast and consistent access to pathological data – taken during surgery – is vital in defining and assessing the conditions of the patient and is provided by a 5G network with an extremely high speed and a very low latency rate. The network lets the Pathology Department gain access to materials which contain about 4GB of data each, thus ensuring improved medical services

This network also ensures fast access to CT and MRI data on proton therapy. The procedure required pathologists to walk about a km to the therapy center to download the files. Now, the 5G network enables them to access these files from any point in the medical center.

Surgery Education Away from the Operating Room

Surgical theatres and operating rooms are often too crowded with medical staff and equipment in order for medical students to observe closely. To resolve this issue and teach effectively, KT has produced a 5G-assisted education program with the Samsung Medical Center.

Robots for Operating Room Assistance; AI for In-Patient Care

A robot developed for the soul purpose of delivering within the operating room, is able to remove contaminated materials and medical waste for disposal. This autonomous robot can also bring in the necessary surgical supplies.

Robots for operating room assistance can reduce secondary and tertiary infection which happens through contact with medical waste and will save human resource costs in waste disposal. Furthermore, 5G enabled connectivity reduces disruption and latency in data exchange with robots and terminals.

Smart Care Giver is a creative AI supported system of in-patient-care. It provides AI services on KT’s GiGA Genie engine and enables patients to control their hospital room with voice commands and checks their medical condition with their permission. Consequently, medical staff are able to respond more efficiently and effectively to patient emergencies.

5G-Powered Smart Hospital

Collaboration between KT and the Samsung Medical Center will continue throughout the year, to further refine the services developed. 

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