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These are exciting times in the world of telecommunication. While the industry is shifting gears rapidly with regulations, net-neutrality, unimaginable amount of data exchange, privacy; digitally transformed telecom players are embarking on an adventurous journey.

There is way too much happening and very little time between updates. An average person checks his phone at least 150 times a day. Telecom carriers must be robust to be able to cater to the 360◦ updates that are happening round the clock around the world.

Statista, an online research firm estimates that the mobile and wireless technologies will reach 9 billion dollars by 2020. They have also predicted that the total spends on wireless data communication worldwide would reach nearly 500 billion US Dollars this year. Some of the top trends that will dominate this industry in 2019 are:

  • Increase in wearable tech
  • Increase in connected things and smart device utilization
  • Public sector impact due to smart cities gaining traction
  • Increase in mobile payment gateways
  • Better connected smart transportation

Increase in wearable tech

According to SNSTelecom.com, wearable devices market would reach over 12 billion dollars by 2021. Wearable tech has boosted the healthcare industry in ways it was never possible before. From bringing down costs to remote monitoring, from data analysis to personal care, from decreasing health risks of patients and diagnosis at early stages, wearable technology is breaking glass ceilings in healthcare. Telecom industry has enabled all of this in just the last decade.

What began as fitness trackers and simple horological devices, wearables, have today become more specific and lifesaving. Today, even the humble fitness trackers can track everything from heart-health, blood pressure, stress levels and patient vitals. Doctors can remotely monitor everything from patient’s sleep to neural activities; cardiac health to insulin levels and more without having to see the patient physically. However, telecom industry faces enormous pressure to make data as private as possible. But that is a discussion for another day.

Increase in connected things and smart device utilization

As Internet of Things and connected devices are becoming popular, markets are expanding exponentially for telecom players. Players like Amazon and Google are giving connected homes a whole new dimension. Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence and Smart Devices are all becoming part of the western households. Last year, the global smart and connected devices market grew 27%. Cellular IOT is expected to reach 3.5 billion dollars in 2023 according the Ericssion Mobility Report 2018.

These numbers clearly show how exponentially this industry is growing opening up avenues for telecom players to explore and expand like never before.

Public sector impact due to smart cities gaining traction

Global smart cities market is expected to reach a soaring high of 2,402,000 million dollars by 2025. From improving governance to monitoring public safety; from notifying public of important information, to be better prepared for emergency, smart cities are becoming a global phenomenon. Telecom industry will play a vital role in the making of smart cities and a major chunk of the revenue is expected to come from here.

Increase in mobile payment gateways

A report by Statista shows by 2020, mobile apps are expected to generate 188.9 Billion Dollars in global revenue. Over 5 billion people use smart phones today.

Banking as a sector is also seeing a shift in the market from being simply transactional to serving its customers. Consumers today are largely millennials who have a completely different set of priorities when it comes to payments.

Digital wallets serve as on-the-go, real time experience for millennial consumers which are convenient to transact as well as track. Big data plays a huge role in the way banking sector with larger banks having access to a huge data base which can be sustained if they unlock the magic of mobile gateways for transactions.

What does all this mean to telecom? Telecom industry enables all these transactions by being in the right place at the right time. From Amazon to Venmo large players are looking at telcos to drive payment gateways. Significant shift in digital payment methods and mobile payment methods are possible if telecommunication players can proactively come forward for such enablement through integrated services. Building strong relationships between merchants, buyers and consumers can help telcos to spearhead the movement for a stronger banking environment and take a large share of the pie.

Better connected smart transportation

Opportunities for telecommunications players in transportation are aplenty as the field is fertile as of today. Branching out like the roots of a banyan tree, the telecommunications players can explore opportunities in every nook and cranny of the transportation industry. Depending on the time, place and regulatory conditions, telecom players can reap heavy yields in transportation, logistics, ambulatory care for healthcare, delivery and much more.

Now for some numbers. greencarreports.com reports that there are 1.2 billion vehicles already on the road. World Health Organization estimated that there were over 1.35 million road traffic deaths as of December 2018. Statista.com reported that  In 2015, there were some 6.3 million fatal, injury, and property damage crashes that occurred in the U.S. alone. In another article by www.vice.com, it was made clear the pizza delivery should be deemed as a dangerous job.

These numbers may seem depressing but, we must also see opportunity here. Smart transport cannot function unless there is there is connectivity and telecom service always. This will create immense opportunities for telecom players. From drone tech to driverless cars, from in-vehicle- on-demand- entertainment to internet radio, from information decimation to highly personalized data distribution, from smart cars to smart logistics, intuitive ambulances to accident alerts for police, the areas where telecommunication companies can venture into are limitless and growing.

With more than 312 million internet users in 2018 and increasing at a fast pace, telecommunications would be a vital organ in this smart ecosystem.

Shailendra Sharma

Mr. Shailendra Sharma (Shell) is the SVP Strategic Sales at Infinite. His charter is to create a substantial market presence for INFINITE across selected Industries and market segments. Shell has an extensive background in providing technology based solutions and services to Telecom, Media, Technology and Hospitality organizations. Shell has 19+ years of experience which includes leadership roles at DXC and HCL.

In his last role, Shell was the Sector General Manager & Head for the Telecom Sector as part of $1.8 Billion Technology, Media & Entertainment, and Telecom (TMT) Group. He leads an integrated team of sales, account management, operations, solutions, offering and delivery team members responsible for Telecom. He was responsible for all strategic decisions relating to formulation and executing Strategy, sales, revenue, operations & profit growth in the Americas for Telecom Sector.

Prior to joining DXC, Shell was at HCL where he managed Multiple Strategic Relationships in Telecom, Media & Entertainment Industry and led the sales teams to grow new business in existing accounts and as well as securing New Logos. Shell has personally led multiple large deals on ITO, Product Engineering and Business Process Services.

Prior to joining HCL, Shell worked with Quintegra leading there US sales efforts around Testing Services at scale. Prior to that, Shell was part of iGATE where he led Infrastructure and BPS services sales for them in UK market.

Shell started his career with i-Energizer in 2000 and was responsible for one of the first Inside Sales function started from India and replicated the model successfully in his career moves at Systems America, iGATE Global Solutions, Quintegra and HCL.

Shell lives with his wife and 2 children in Naperville IL. He enjoys Travelling, learning about new cultures and reads in his leisure time.

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