Suzy Menneret, Senior Market & Strategy Expert at MEF Member Deutsche Telekom and Head of Strategy Workgroup at i3forum discusses digital transformation and the potential opportunities for MNOs to reinvent themselves effectively in a rapidly changing ecosystem.

International carriers have realized that they have to change to survive. They’ve developed new roadmaps for adopting new technologies, services and models. The challenge for most carriers will be how to execute on these roadmaps and make transformation a reality inside their businesses.

Over the next two years, the industry is going to see which carriers can make transformation a success and who will be stuck in the legacy world. TeleGeography notes that at current run rates, international service revenues from voice will fall to $50 billion by 2022. If this is true, revenues will have declined by nearly half of the $99 billion total in the ten years after 2012.

If carriers wait any longer to change, they will be competing in a nearly unrecognizable market in 2022 with an outdated operating model and legacy mindset. This is why the next two years are absolutely critical, as by 2022 it will be too late.

To really drive transformation by 2020, carriers should look at how they are executing on their roadmap and what it will take to be successful. Many carriers understand what they need to achieve but are unsure of how to get there.

Carriers must ensure the next two years are productive and successful by making important decisions about their long-term future. Real-life transformation hinges on each carrier’s ability to internally evolve, but also how they can collectively achieve transformation as an industry.”

Accelerating Transformation

Already we’re seeing a growing number of proof of concepts, use cases and active discussions about how carriers can evolve how they operate, adopt new technologies, and solve challenges. There is a hunger for change and that is being expressed in transformation projects that are both large and small.

Carriers must ensure the next two years are productive and successful by making important decisions about their long-term future. Real-life transformation hinges on each carrier’s ability to internally evolve, but also how they can collectively achieve transformation as an industry.

There are new opportunities with technologies that can streamline our internal processes, reduce fraud losses, and enable new services to be built:

  • Blockchain – Blockchain has the potential to change how carriers operate and create new efficiencies in billing and settlements. The challenge is to get critical mass of adoption and develop a viable solution without adding new complexity to operations
  • Software-Defined Networking – Today, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) services are operating in islands. SDN has the potential to support the Cloud, content and next-gen communications that can really drive our long-term innovation. To connect these islands and make it a globally interconnected offering, carriers need to work together at all levels from technical through to commercial
  • The Internet of Things – IoT demands new levels of scalability, reliability and interworking relationships to ensure application development and innovation is supported locally and globally. As IoT matures, capacity demands will grow, and carriers have an opportunity to shape its development and capture new revenue
  • Big Data – Big Data and most importantly sharing data across the carrier industry can streamline how we work together and create new efficiencies. Data related to numbering plans or network analytics can all be used to create better and more efficient services

If carriers work to implement these technologies in isolation, they will be slow to go to market and will waste an opportunity to share both resources and ideas. None of these developments can become a reality unless the industry works together.

To be successful, we need to have a structure in place that brings everyone together with clear frameworks that can be defined and implemented. That’s important for creating momentum and driving change in our industry.

Collaboration Feeds Innovation

We must coalesce as an industry if we want to thrive. That’s fundamental. We compete with each other, but also co-operate with one another. For transformation 2020, carriers need standards, recommendations and tools that can be used as a common repository.

Carriers need to drive new opportunities for collaboration and new technologies that should be incorporated within their transformation roadmaps. That builds a foundation of efficiency that will support carriers’ long-term growth.

We need to work together to solve the challenges that face our industry and deliver value across the entire wholesale ecosystem.

2020 and Beyond

There will be clear winners and losers. The winners will be the companies that are open to collaboration and use it as a competitive advantage. They will get involved with the rest of the industry and actively engage with these new opportunities.

The i3forum has been active for over 10 years, and it’s only when we are successfully collaborating that we bring benefits to ourselves and the entire carrier community. Whether it’s new models for payments, settlements or combating Voice fraud, we can facilitate change and evolution within our industry.

By 2020, carriers need to join forces to drive this industry in the right direction and shape our collective future. If we can get players from across the ecosystem working together, with that kind of momentum, we have a real force for change.

Suzy Menneret

Senior Market & Strategy Expert at Deutsche Telekom & i3forum’s Head of Strategy Workgroup

  

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