January 18, 2023

Digital transformation will continue to drive many industries forward and will remain as the top  trend setter in 2023. We have selected and highlighted the most interesting top-trends in the field of telecommunications, which you should definitely pay attention to this year:

1. 5G Monetisation: Companies invested massively into  the deployment of 5G and 2023 will be the year of  monetisation

2. Metaverse: getting closer and closer every day

3. Cybersecurity: not a new trend, but requires new views and approaches due to increasing risks

4. Artificial Intelligence: continues to grow by driving operational improvements  and becoming mainstream

Let's look at them in more detail.

2023 is expected to bring improved 5G connectivity for users. Meanwhile for Operators, 2023 will be a year of new opportunities. Opportunities to monetise 5G and begin to recoup the massive investments which have been made to deploy and operationalise the 5G networks, measured in the millions and billions.

Juniper Research predicts continuous growth for 5G related revenue: 5G revenue in 2023 will increase by 60% relative to 2022 ($315 billion in 2023, $195 billion in 2022). By 2027, over 80% of global Network Operator revenue will originate  from 5G related services.

In 2023 and beyond, it is expected for operators to ramp up their IoT (Internet of Things) business, and some will even deploy infrastructure dedicated to exclusively serving IoT. To succeed, Operators may need to adapt their existing sales channels and models to better commercialise their 5G related services.

To learn more about 5G, its adoption and the innovations we should expect in the future, read our recent article “5G Implementation & Deployment: Why, What and How”.

The Metaverse is a megatrend that is expected to be the next big and hottest thing when it comes to digitalisation. It represents the convergence of physical, augmented and virtual reality in a common online space. 5G and fibre rollouts are key enablers to this megatrend as improved latency & upload/download speeds are essential for a positive user-experience.

Major players from the world of communications and technology are already making plans and working to create the Metaverse. For example, in 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced the start of work on the 3D Internet, which could completely change our interaction with content. Such innovations aim to expand the physical and virtual worlds to such an extent that we not only consume information, but can be within it.

The Metaverse presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the telecommunications industry. 5G, and then 6G, is the key to making the Metaverse work. Therefore, on the one hand, the main contribution of Telcos in the Metaverse will be providing infrastructure, but on the other hand, in order to unlock the full range of possibilities of the Metaverse, telecommunications companies must go beyond this traditional mindset. Telcos must  find new strategic opportunities and services in order to receive income not only for providing infrastructure, but as direct participants who interact directly with this new market. To be successful, Telcos will need to position themselves as co-creators of the Metaverse, not just as enablers of it.

With increased digitalisation, an increase in the number of IoT devices and, in the future, with the arrival of the Metaverse, the threat of cyber attacks is rapidly growing.

Cybersecurity is expected to be a top priority for Telcos in 2023, as the industry is one of the most susceptible. Operators own a huge amount of confidential data, and more and more user gadgets are connected to their network every day. Insufficiently protected devices can be turned into entry points  for hackers, and telecommunications companies must be prepared for direct or indirect cyber attacks. Compromising large networks can impact energy grids, result in ransoms to restore service, data theft on customers, and more.

The European Commission's "Cybersecurity of Open Radio Access Networks" report shows that the increasing complexity of Open RAN networks results in a larger attack surface and more entry points for attackers. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, commented on the report: "Open RAN architectures create new opportunities in the marketplace, but this report shows they also raise important security challenges, especially in the short term".

To ensure the effective detection and mitigation of cyber threats, appropriate response methods must be implemented and mechanisms to prevent these threats must be developed. Telcos will need to invest in implementing better cyber security measures by modernising the Security Operations Centers (SOC) and focus on building out an IT infrastructure adequate to the increasing risk of cyber attacks.

In 2023, investments into Artificial Intelligence (#AI) continues to grow, becoming one of the most important trends globally and especially so in the case of telecommunications.

According to the new International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide, investment in AI solutions will increase as companies strive for insight, efficiency and innovation. It forecasts global spending on AI systems will grow from $85.3 billion in 2021 to more than $204 billion in 2025 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.5%.

The Global AI in Telecommunication Market is estimated to be $ 1.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $ 6.3 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 38%, according to a report by Research and Markets. The Future Market Insights report "Artificial Intelligence in Telecommunication Market Outlook (2022-2032)", shows a more conservative but still significant CAGR prediction - 27.5% from 2022 to 2032 ($10.4 Billion by 2032).

AI is used by Telecoms in a wide variety of areas:

 - Advanced support and customer service

 - Increasing sales revenue through marketing opportunities

 - Operational management and automation of network processes

2023 is expected to see even more AI applications in the telecommunications industry, especially chatbots and customer virtual assistants. AI can help reduce costs when implementing an AI chatbot instead of a team of support staff. It can also improve efficiency by leveraging large amounts of data faster and more accurately than a person to make hypotheses for potential fixes, personalised content, targeted ads, and more!

AI can help Telcos provide improved services to customers and build stronger relationships with them to drive business growth, improve customer retention, and it can also detect and respond to network anomalies in a timely manner to prevent outages.

Sophisticated artificial intelligence platforms  exist and can be applied in the telecommunications industry to switch from a reactive to a proactive approach and achieve operational excellence. This is where we enter the puzzle, with our AIOps platform that can monitor, analyse and manage complex IT networks in real time. And we call it OptOSS AI!

OptOSS AI is an AI-driven, real-time complex networking platform that can autonomously detect both known and unknown anomalous patterns in your network data and is capable of handling ever-growing volumes of network data!

Using our patented combination of algorithms, space worthy technology, and the latest advancements in AI, the OptOSS AI platform is capable of future proofing your infrastructure monitoring capabilities, and tackling increasing complexity head on.

Check out our 13-minute online demo to see our assistant in action and learn about its features and capabilities: