The current state of the Telecommunication industry
Today, the telecommunications industry connects everyone and everything around the world. It has the potential to lead to a better future and breakthrough development. The source of the power of the industry is the global role of mobile technology for and on society.
Size & State
According to the latest research, in March 2020 there are:
- About 4,648,228,067 Internet users;
- Over 5.11 billion unique mobile users!
The physical and digital worlds are becoming more and more interconnected. This is forcing all industries, including telecommunications, to transform their business, partner ecosystem, and business models at rapid rates.
Services and their capabilities are evolving in a direction that enables the mobile ecosystem to make everything more efficient and accessible to consumers and society.
Over the last 2 decades, the continuous technical and information transformation has led to a strong development of the telecommunications industry but has also created a hyper-dynamic environment. Today, the industry is facing a new and unfamiliar situation.
Different innovations are conquering the industry:
- IoT and going interconnected. Connected devices are one of the most important topics today. We expect astronomical growth of data volumes, and the main challenge for businesses is their ability to manage it.
- Growth of mobile connectivity. It has long surpassed the fixed connection. This growth trend is observed in many places in the world. For people, a mobile phone is cheaper, more convenient, and useful, even when a landline connection is an option.
- Market saturation and new services. Basic telco services today are beginning to fade in the face of the new types of solutions In a few years, the last remaining percentages of market entry will be filled and it will be saturated.
- Security comes first. Operators, as masters of networks, must provide security for both the end-user and the enterprise. Customers expect and seek maximum levels of protection at all times. Suppliers need to support these expectations with many technical and operational innovations.
Leading challenges in the telecommunications industry
Several challenges are facing the industry. Here are some of the most tangible for businesses of all sizes.
Purchasing power and decision-making capacity, both internally and externally, need to be decentralized. The reason is the significant flexible configuration of the cloud.
We mentioned that with new technologies, the diversity and quality of services of telecommunications companies and Internet service providers (ISPs) are increasing. Also, profit margins are shrinking and lines between telecommunications companies and technology providers are blurring.
This is one of the reasons why telecoms are trying to innovate as much as possible and adapt their organization to digital transformation, creating strong cross-functional interfaces, and looking for tools to maintain organizational flexibility.
The existence of thousands of subscribers and the variety of products, packages, and customized solutions significantly complicate:
- Operational support
- Execution of orders
- Customer care
All this requires extra resources and various tools, thus increasing financial costs
The third challenge for vendors is the need to set up a network infrastructure. It must be connected and provide high quality and accessible data and voice services. Network security is a top priority for telecommunications. They face challenges with the emergence of new threats driven by new technologies. Enterprises need operational and technical innovations to meet customer expectations for complete system security.
The impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the accompanying explosive growth of connected devices can be a challenge. They generate billions of new data sources. This means that businesses must learn to analyze and process this information quickly and successfully.
Top trends in the telecommunications industry
5G networks. Telecommunications operators are working to provide 5G networks. The technology is not yet fully defined and refined, but laboratory and field tests continue. Driven by consumer and business demand, both providers and governments are working to accelerate the deployment and wider deployment of 5G networks.
Secure and reliable services. One of the main requirements of users is the top levels of security. The modern telecommunications environment offers a wide range of services that include reliable and secure authentication. Many smartphones equipped with biometric mechanisms:
- Fingerprint readers
- Facial recognition
- Retinal recognition
- Biometric SIM cards
This technology is applicable to both customer experience and back-office purposes. Retailers, financial institutions, government, and even schools are using it to verify identity and curb crime.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) everywhere. Professionals are focusing their investment in AI in these four main areas:
- Network optimization
- Prevention and predictiveness
- Virtual assistants
- Robotic process automation (RPA)
This is where AI gives some of the most tangible business results.
Internet of Things. We have already mentioned it in the challenge section, but this technology can be a powerful tool. It all depends on the approach of the businesses. With IoT, the telecommunications industry can conquer the digital revolution. Our answer to the question ‘How?’ is ‘The Digital Twins!’, which we will look at in this article.
Merging and acquisitions. With high rates of competition and new technological innovations in the sector, the number of established partnerships is growing. For example, many companies are partnering with media and content companies, such as the proposed merger of AT&T with Times Time Warner Inc.
Besides, telcos seek to expand their products and services by partnering with:
- OTT players for content delivery
- Companies that can help them provide enterprise solutions such as SD-WAN
A look into the future
The demand and need for data will continue to change and with them the basic network infrastructure, both from a physical and a virtual point of view.
To maximize revenue and ensure that their networks are ready to meet future technological advances, operators have to transform processes from the inside out.
They need a new approach to asset management. Let’s find out how you can redefine your asset management.
Improper asset management hinders Telco transformation (and possibly yours too)!
Digital transformation is a long process and requires the joint efforts of the entire business hierarchy – from C-suite to entries. This applies to every aspect of change.
In asset management processes, it can be generally stated that companies face the need to exploit digital for greater efficiency, and the key to this is the successful combination of technologies.
But first, some difficulties and risks must be overcome. They are often caused by the failure of organizations to optimally manage their assets in five main areas:
- The business does not know what assets it has. This is the first major step that will ensure the effectiveness of someone’s asset management program. To create a suitable foundation on which to build, you will need to do this:
- Develop a list of all the organization’s assets.
- Create and organize a hierarchy of physical assets.
- Develop criteria for assessing the criticality and importance of an asset to the business. Here, we observe how individual assets affect the strategic plan of the organization
- Develop and implement an asset management process that will ensure that future changes are properly assessed and recorded.
- Insufficient or over-maintenance. The first carries significant costs, and the second manifests itself in excessive maintenance of assets and performance of the smallest tasks more often than necessary.
- Improper handling of assets. Some of our best pieces of advice here are:
- Learn how to manage your assets
- Familiarize yourself with the negative consequences of using the asset outside the project ranges
- If you can’t work within the ranges, be aware of the downturns and keep them within normal limits
- Inability to manage risk. Risk management is carried out along two main lines – identification and assessment; management and control. Any area that is not done well contributes to ineffective risk management, and hence assets. Apply the following four-step ISO model:
- Establishing a risk context
- Identification, analysis, and assessment
- Managing and minimizing
- Monitoring and optimization
- Powerful asset management system, poor usage. Some of the enterprise asset management (EAM) systems have possible shortcomings that hinder the overall management. But most of the time, the features that are available from most EAMs are more than enough. Organizations simply do not use them to their greatest. The way to deal with this problem is to either do it right the first time or pay extra to do it later. Both options require planning, resources, and treating implementation as a process of change, not as a project. Easier said than done. It is often best to seek professional help.
Asset Management for Telecommunications – The fast track to digital transformation
Why automate in the first place?
Here are some of the top reasons why:
You can provide an organized inventory of physical assets – such as equipment, workstations, servers, jacks, faceplates, racks, ONUs, and panels. You’ll always know where IT and network assets are and what their requirements are.
The enterprise can establish specific connections between:
- Workstation equipment
- Panel and server equipment
- Outdoor, over-the-head, and underground infrastructure
You’ll be able to visually control the connections between workspaces and rooms for equipment that serves to understand the configuration of the service.
There is centralized access to all equipment data integrated with a view of workstations, premises, and personnel.
You can automatically create jacks and ports to your standard to speed up the development of telecommunications equipment.
The maintenance and engineering teams can track connections between workstation equipment and server equipment in both directions. This tactic also applies to devices provisioned to customers and partners.
The benefits for the enterprise
The benefits of successful management are both tangible and intangible. Reducing excess stock levels and warehousing with a better understanding of needs and asset consumption is both tangible and intangible. Material resources are saved, and the percentage of staff productivity increases.
Other aspects that are improving are maintenance planning operations and processes, such as reconfigurations. An accurate register is kept of the available assets and which work areas are affected by each project.
Integrating the new asset management aka Industry 4.0 in Telecommunication enterprises
Asset tracking for maximum uptime
Companies need to develop the ability to successfully manage asset information to make key decisions. Asset and asset data can drastically affect how a telecommunications company develops.
How can corporations sustain this high growth rate while using their assets to build their network?
The answer is in tracking network assets and providing accurate data to all business units that need them. Asset tracking allows:
- Higher quality control
- Manage space effectively
- Providing information on the growth of RF engineering
- Electronic connection of financial information with engineering operations
- Specify the cost of equipment to support property taxes
- Control of spare parts costs
- Merge warehousing services while reducing storage costs
- Track asset revision level and serial number
Reporting on the management of telecommunications assets
Reporting on the management of telecommunications assets gives full control and visibility over their real-time inventory from anywhere in the world.
This method has fulfilled the clients’ demand for a more transparent audit path. Inventory management is facilitated with historical data, project status, sales, customer callbacks, and real-time revenue resale information.
Things work like this:
Powered directly by the internal ERP system, customers can track individual parts of the telecommunications network as they go through operations to the endpoint of sale.
Projects can be added as unique one-off asset resale campaigns, but can also be used as a group-wide asset disposal solution in many countries or regions.
Multinational corporations with a group structure and multiple operating companies can apply this method to any enterprise, maximizing control and visibility at both the local and global levels. You can control access centrally or distribute it to several entities.
How to Use the Digital Twins for Telecommunications
In different industries, the transformation through the application of Digital Twins and IoT takes on a different shape.
In particular, for Telecommunications, things look like this:
- Connectivity between customers, products and assets and use data to improve business processes
- Continuous communication with everyone in the supply chain about the condition and operation of products and/or assets
- Collaborate through shared ecosystems and business networks to improve, maintain and service highly competitive global markets
Fact: You can create a digital twin of almost anything
Result: The insights you can gain become unlimited.
The Digital Twins and IoT are the last elements in the merger of three key factors in the sector:
- The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) devices
- The development of 5G network speeds
- The opening of an extra frequency band in the spectrum
How to bring the power of the digital twin into the telecommunications enterprise
It is good to be aware of all the benefits and advantages of using this super technology. But there is something even better. Know how to apply it to achieve this effect on your business. We will now look at some of the truly limitless possibilities.
The ability to maintain an accurate inventory of implemented network assets and to manage change has the potential to give a big advantage to telco businesses to concentrate on innovation.
Digital twins through IoT sensors or direct integration with the assert allow you to track existing infrastructure from multiple positions. This significantly speeds up the process of deployment, upgrades, and modifications.
Also, the machine learning and artificial intelligence aspect of the digital twin allow for extensive analysis and predefined actions of usage patterns, network anomalies, and fault predictions.
These facilities have a huge range of equipment in one place:
- Battery backups
- Security cameras
- Aircraft warning systems
- Energy generators
All this is difficult to maintain, especially when the tower is located in a remote or inaccessible area.
By installing IoT sensors and directing data to the digital twin, technicians can ‘transport’ all this to their offices and respond to problems quickly.
Field services management
The flow of data coming from the locations of the tower allows field staff to head to the field, armed with a lot of information about what awaits them. This functionality and the user experience are key factors to predictive support.
Constant actualization of the virtual copy
The technology backs up the existing network environment. At one point, it was necessary to make a completely new backup of the copy to update it and take into account any changes.
Today you have the opportunity to create a development environment in the digital twin. From there you can constantly update the virtual copy of the existing network.
It’s time to get ready for what the future holds
The spread of digital technologies and the new asset management approach will shake telecommunications to its foundations. Depending on the approach of the enterprises and the speed with which they adapt, the technology can:
- Help them conquer the Digital Renaissance
- Put extra pressure on their development
We strive to provide you with the necessary resources to achieve the first! Our latest eBook: ‘Road To Digital Twins: 6 Powerful Asset Management Guidelines’ will guide you through the process of advancing your asset management strategy step-by-step and the last chapter is entirely dedicated to the Digital Twins.
Download it now and redefine your asset management!