While digital transformation has been a hot topic for some time in the telecommunications and cable industries, increasing competition and major changes to network infrastructure such as rollout of FTTH and 5G are now driving companies to carefully consider how technological innovations will actually transform the industry.
Working in collaboration with Techpros.io, IQGeo has launched a new eBook to cover this topic in depth. It includes thoughts from senior executives at BT, Vodafone, Windstream, TELUS and AT&T on their toughest challenges and biggest opportunities broken down into four key areas:
The value of network and field automation is well understood, saving time in heavily manual processes and improving accuracy, but are fully automated networks key to digital transformation success? According to Ken Nowakowski, TELUS Communications’ Director of Planning and Engineering IP Core Network Assurance, network automation isn’t a question, but a necessity for the industry.
Part of the challenge of automation for a large network is the various old technologies and old programming paradigms in place. Legacy systems can make it difficult to adapt to new technologies and the many benefits that they can offer. Gilbert Owusu, head of practice, business and operational transformation at BT Group, cited that, with innovations like Artificial Intelligence (AI) building steam, and with big data analytics having a sizeable impact, there are new opportunities to proactively detect faults and then automatically dispatch engineers to fix issues before they arise.
The rollout of 5G creates huge logistical challenges for operators, but its impact divides opinions. Chip Srull, AT&Ts Director Network Performance and Analytics, says that: “5G is set to be incredibly transformative. Some have even described it as the biggest change we’ve had in our industry in the last decade”.
However, some experts such as Ken Nowakowski, TELUS Communications’ Director of Planning and Engineering IP Core Network Assurance, are more skeptical. He says that, from a telecommunications perspective, 5G is just another access technology, and nothing more.
Digital transformation is enabling telecoms businesses to go toe-to-toe with newer, more nimble, internet-first competitors. To remain a competitive option, they need to transform from a customer experience and a cultural point-of-view. This demands that they offer new, digital products and compete in a different way because the playing field has totally changed.
Consistency, argue the experts, is key. For Ian Elborn, BT Group Network Services Integration Director, if you deliver your service in a consistent and repeatable way, not only do you keep your costs down, you’re better equipped to deliver the same link to people in Papua New Guinea as you would offer to customers in Dublin.
Contributors agreed that the key to automation is having the right information at your disposal. Russ Bartels of Windstream argues that unless data is accurate, automation is simply not going to be successful.
Network innovations allow access to more data, make sense of all the information and, in turn, make better decisions revealed Gilbert Owusu at BT Group. He says that when this information is used effectively, we can empower both field and tech teams to do the best for our customers.
Over the past decade, there has been a massive shift in the technology landscape, with wireless networking, smartphones and connected devices becoming an essential part of everyday life. This has created huge challenges for the telecom industry, while at the same time providing many opportunities to improve their own processes though digital transformation.
To find out more about optimising networks for telecommunications and cable providers in the age of digitalization, download the eBook today.