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The telecom industry is rapidly evolving. In a previous blog we highlighted an unprecedented growth in mobility. This trend will only increase in 2017. With growing interest and anticipation for 5G, the possibility of lightning-fast communication and data transfer on a global scale offers numerous industry applications. Here are my telecommunications predictions for 2017.


The Future of 5G

A large amount of industry chatter surrounded 5G this past year, with several leading telecom companies competing to be the first to offer 5G in a race reminiscent of the Space Race of the mid-20th century.

Earlier this week AT&T announced the first 5G rollout cities in the US: Austin and Indianapolis. As we eagerly await results from the rollout cities, 451 Research suggests the subsequent rollouts will gain traction from an “economic justification, business benefits for specific industry verticals, network funding options, and related regulator policies.” Additionally, we can expect to see other industry experience growth from 5G as research and development grow in energy, agribusiness and transportation.

Many industry experts also expect OTT growth to coincide with the faster 5G networks, once they become larger and more established. At CES 2017, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said,”5G will be the tipping point that builds on LTE and finally enables IoT.” Case in point, Verizon recently completed its $1.8 billion purchase of XO Communications’ fiber business, setting the table for their own 5G deployment.


More Mobility Continues to Boost IoT

This focus on 5G leads to a continued focused on mobility and integration with the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT has garnered a lot of attention recently as a focus area for new business and emerging markets. According to Deloitte, “The long-standing promise of delivering content to any screen is finally becoming a reality, enabled by advances in network technology and higher speeds, as well as enhanced content at the carrier level, whether owned or resold.” In addition, 451 Research expects that the IoT market will exceed $1.2 billion by 2020 and make up 15% of all mobile subscriptions globally.


Saturation & Security

2016 was a year with a number of security breaches. As security is always a top concern, we can expect revitalized focus on security in the 2017 year.

Part of this reinvigorated security focus will revolve around virtual infrastructures, with software-based solutions increasingly replacing hardware. According to Data Center Dynamics, “2017 will be the year where the business models for Network Function Virtualization (NFV) finally become more obvious.” This could translate to drastically reduced costs for providers and consumers as software offers a more long-term and cost-effective solution than hardware.

There are many correlations with expanded telecommunications virtualization that mirrors cloud technologies. As virtualization increases, so does the risk of security breaches. Because of this, expect an increase in spending and research on encryption methods in response to new virtual infrastructures and even possible regulation.


With new high tech applications and faster wireless networks, telecommunications continues to develop in substantial and exciting ways. Should you like to discuss how we can help you navigate this change in the telecom industry, as ever, please get in touch.


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