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IoT, 5G, AI to Change Telco Market in Coming Years

The Budapest Business Journal asks Chief Commercial Officer at Telenor Hungary, Mohamed ElSayad about the situation of the telco market, technological innovation, and how Telenor prepares for the upcoming Christmas rush.

Mohamed ElSayad

Regarding how the mobile market was different five years ago, ElSayad says, “When the mobile was first introduced, it gave more flexibility for customers to get connected with what mattered to them through voice and messaging, but only when the internet also became mobile, were people connected to whatever they needed.”

He argues that this led to a change in habits, putting huge pressure on telco companies. “Customers had options to be connected beyond the core voice and messaging that were the bread and butter of the telecom industry,” he points out.

He adds that this led to a race to find alternative revenue solutions, which are both relevant and useful for customers, and profitable to operators.

“Telecom companies are taking leverage of the scale of the cloud to virtualize networks, provide IoT solutions and introduce innovation faster. We expect to see that more and more solutions embedded in business propositions that will automate operations and mine customer’s big data to introduce new revenue opportunities,” he says.

Talking about industries affected by 5G and its mix with IoT technologies, he specifically mentioned agriculture, healthcare, and transport, among others, adding that telco companies are partnering with IoT providers to offer solutions related not only to smart cities and autonomous cars, but fleet management and predictive maintenance too.

“With the introduction of blockchain technologies, operators also found themselves in a great position to start serving blockchain to enterprises and governments that needed a decentralized platform, something that allows mobile network providers and service providers to interact securely and directly, without any complex integrations or intermediaries,” he tells the BBJ.

He notes that practices like GDPR and stronger encryption have led users, organizations, and lawmakers to be more wary about privacy and data security.

AI Buzz

ElSayad believes that while the “huge buzz” around AI has so far been limited to the use of chatbots and virtual assistants, it is far from the end of the story, as robotic process automation will be used to solve complex, highly repetitive workflows.

“This means that operators will have to slowly re-adopt the way that they work as revenue growth isn’t going to be the only important KPI; a lot of transformation and convergence will take place, therefore the introduction of business plans based on IMPU [individual margin per user] will start being more commonly utilized,” he notes.

Talking about 5G’s superiority over 4G, the CCO notes that while speed and coverage factors are common knowledge, 5G’s extreme low latency will create opportunities like never before.  

“What really differentiates 5G is that it comes at a crossroad of what we call ‘the intelligent connectivity’, which is the intersection of three important technologies coming into play together, 5G connectivity, IoT and AI, which should change the industry as well as the future of customer experience.”

With the holidays slowly appearing on the horizon, Telenor is also preparing itself to meet the rush.  

“The market is usually geared up with very attractive offers since it is also about a shopping spree and spreading the love to our families and loved ones,” he says. He adds that Telenor will be working hard to surprise customers with the best offers, and to handle them with care, although he can’t divulge more at this stage, so watch this space.