Steve Smith | 02.28.18
Summary >

With the rise in the use of smartphones and other connected mobile devices, telecommunications operators have massive amounts of data at their disposal. 4G, wearables, smartphones, and mobile apps have changed — and continue to change — the way people consume telecom services. Wireless data volumes are expected to increase 1,000-fold through the 2020s. With more users and connected devices than ever before, the telecom industry will have to adapt its infrastructure to handle increased data flow while finding ways to leverage the massive amount of data it has at its disposal.

There’s no avoiding it. Discover three areas big data — and the technologies it powers — will have the biggest impact on the telecom industry:

1.   Connectivity and Data Flow

Today, the flow of information across a country is as important as the flow of goods. The total mobile data traffic has grown 4,000 times over the past 10 years and 400 million times over the past 15 years. Spurred by increased connectivity, the global economy is also booming. The global flow of goods, service, and finance could triple by 2025 to a staggering $80 trillion.

Of course, none of that is news to you. You know data is exploding. After all, how many times do you pull out your phone to scroll through your Facebook feed, sync your emails, or catch up on trending YouTube videos? Obviously, you didn’t use your phone that way a decade ago.

Many are hanging their proverbial hat on the anticipated improvements of 5G: 10gbps speed, sub-millisecond latency, and exponentially better user density.

And what’s not to love?

5G can handle a seemingly endless list of digital formats across devices and locations: satellites, undersea cables, digital, streaming, virtual reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence.

But currently, the industry simply can’t support the technologies emerging out of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Besides infrastructure-enhancing technologies such as network virtualization (NV) or software-defined networking (SDN), 5G will require massive infrastructure updates around its power and cooling infrastructure from the telecommunications industry.

2.   Data Security

Without reliable, secure connections, new technology such as drones and autonomous vehicles leave themselves open for cyber attack. The problem is wireless communications networks weren’t designed to be very secure. This lack of security is what makes it possible for robocallers to use auto dialers to trick people into answering phone calls from people they think they know.

So, imagine a world powered by wireless technology that is 100 times faster than anything available today. We could — and probably will — store every aspect of our lives in the cloud. Emerging technologies exacerbate concerns over individual privacy and civil liberties, turning them into highly politicized debates over national security and competition.

Getting wireless providers to build secure 5G networks in a largely unregulated industry is no easy task. And if even one carrier fails to protect its equipment, it thwarts the efforts of everyone else, weakening the incentive of carriers to invest.

Even so, given 5G will power smart medical devices and autonomous cars, many carriers are already working on more robust security strategies. Only time will tell if outside organizations will create and monitor addition regulations in the name of safety.

3.   Customer Service

With machine learning and artificial intelligence, telecommunications companies are seeking ways to extract value from the data it has collected over the past decades. The sheer amount of data available paralyzes many, leading to disillusionment when management starts seeing negative return on investment. Instead, savvy leaders know they need look no further than the data to find easily solvable problems.

This much we know, though: companies have ample data about the customer, the customer’s usage, and the customer’s interactions with the company.

So, how can you use customer data to enhance the customer experience, improve relationships, and reduce churn?

It’s simple really. Your customers expect speed and personalization. Online scheduling, narrow appointment windows, first-time fixes, knowledgeable techs, real-time notifications, and proper follow-up. Of course, it might not seem that simple to actually accomplish in practice.

But it can be. An increased number of telecommunications companies are deepening their customer relationships by optimizing field service appointments with predictive field service management software. Intelligent technology uses advanced algorithms to analyze piles of data in real time to automatically predict job duration, find the fastest route to the next appointment, assign technicians to jobs that match their skill levels, provide knowledge on the fly, and track job status.

The Value of Big Data for the Telecommunications Industry

As more and more people turn to wireless connections for data consumption, one thing is clear. Consumers are done waiting. Although big data is forcing the telco industry to rethink a few things to keep from going the way of the beeper, innovation and investment in infrastructure and technology that plays nicely with it can also propel the industry forward.

Change is inevitable. Are you ready?

Get your 2020 Strategy Snapshot of Field Service in the Communications Industry to create a field service strategy that can keep up with the industry as data explodes.

To learn more about intelligent and predictive technology, subscribe to the ClickSoftware blog.