This year is seeing a massive shift in the world of South African telecommunications with increased technology and competition set to improve business offerings. This all bodes very well for the consumer who will reap the benefits of the mobile telecommunications’ trends. Here are some things to look out for this year.
1. National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper
The White Paper outlines exactly how the government intends to provide access to modern communications’ infrastructure, as well as facilitating the entry of newcomers to the industry, encouraging meaningful participation for all citizens. This is set to be integrated into policy this year, which should lead to improved telecommunications’ access, reduced cost of communications and more choice for the customer. This will, hopefully, also bridge the gap in connectivity between the affluent urban areas and disadvantaged rural areas, although it’s believed the gap will still widen before the policy takes effect.
Read more about this in Telecommunications Trends 2017
2. Internet of Things (IoT) expansion
The Internet of Things (IoT) is essentially the inter-networking of various physical devices, vehicles, buildings and anything else embedded with electronics, software, sensors or connectivity which allows for the collection and exchange of data. Decreased connectivity costs will continue to boost this telecommunications’ trend with mass rollouts of IoT networks and solutions expected in 2017.
3. Consolidation and collaboration
Because of the declining data prices, many network operators are unable to invest in substantial network upgrades to meet the technological advances in telecommunications. To ensure they can invest in infrastructure projects while maintaining service delivery, companies are having to collaborate, and more can be expected in 2017. Consolidation and bundling are becoming popular, with companies looking to secure content and deliver more affordable solutions for consumers.
4. Deployment of Fibre to the x (FTTx) infrastructure
There will continue to be an aggressive push for the deployment of FTTx infrastructure – various types of optical fibre delivery to buildings – across emerging markets in 2017. These deployments began last year with demand for fibre services constantly increasing among corporates, homeowners and small businesses.
5. Global subsea fibre projects
On a larger platform, 2017 will also see many new global subsea fibre projects connecting Asia with Europe, the United States, and Africa, as well as Africa with south America. They will provide additional routes which will improve network resilience, opening new direct communication links.
6. Satellite demand in rural areas
Although fibre is high in demand with users looking for broadband connectivity, various areas across Africa cannot get access because of difficult terrain. This creates a gap in the market for satellite, which can meet this demand quickly and, because of increased competition, consumers are getting it at reduced rates. Satellite also provides an invaluable backup system for areas where fibre is still new and not yet meeting demand.
7. 5G trials expand
The telecommunications’ industry has made great strides in the development of 5G technology with many companies developing 5G architecture and 2017 set for the rollout of trials. This will give consumers an idea of what they can expect from networks, however, commercial 5G will not be available until about 2020 and full deployment only expected sometime later. Breaches in security will propel networks to look towards more enhanced safety systems to prevent attacks.
8. Cloud, digital and social-visual increase
More corporate connectivity will see an increased use of cloud services as well as more investment in digital media and content services. Expect the use of image and video services on the social media platform, further driving data consumption. Copper network and DSL technology will continue to decline as companies opt for social media messaging and VoIP technology.
9. Cheaper mobile phones
The use of smartphones will continue to rise in 2017 with more companies breaking into the market bringing more affordable options. This means more bundle offers and lower cost options, benefitting the consumer.
10. Over-the-top (OTT) services increase
OTT or ‘value added’ services are essentially the services you use on top of the services offered by your provider. Some common examples are Skype or other VoIP services which allow you to make cheaper or free voice calls using your internet. With the popularity of voice and video services over wireless networks continuing to grow in 2017, telecommunication providers are increasing their user-access capabilities which means less disruption.
There are lots of exciting trends in the mobile telecommunications’ network with consumers getting more options and better value for services. It’s worth keeping an eye on the emerging trends so that you’re not being left behind on the best deals available for your business.
These 10 trends are brought to you by ECN. ECN is a leading telecommunications partner in South Africa. ECN offers a broad set of cost effective voice, data and hosted services to meet our customers ever growing technological needs. Our market leading voice solutions provide our customers with the option of replacing their existing voice service provider to substantially reduce their monthly telecommunications bill. Contact ECN today for leading telecommunications solutions.