Customers want it all.

From home consumers using smart devices to enterprise-level customers performing advanced operations, everyone is looking for high-speed, low-latency data connectivity – meaning an always-on, reliable, ever-present, utility-type service.

The recent shift in enterprise and residential working patterns has exacerbated the demand for capacity in distributed locations and accelerated the rollout of capabilities.

Meanwhile, technologies previously thought futuristic – such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning – are becoming commonplace and creating massive volumes of data to put even more pressure on data networks.

A shifting landscape

The Digital Telco: Modernising to meet future needsMany communications service providers (CSPs) are transforming to meet this demand. These organisations are adopting new technologies and forming new partnerships. They are also leveraging their existing scale to evolve their operating models and ensure customers always have reliable access to the services they require.

Simultaneously, CSPs are seizing emerging opportunities. Many are looking for practical ways to manage remaining legacy systems as they transform their data networks by transitioning to new technologies, operating models, and processes.

By commencing the migration away from resource-hungry legacy systems – which are costly to maintain – CSPs are also moving away from older, inflexible ways of doing business and reducing system complexity while cutting costs. Doing so allows them to remain competitive in the market as new challengers enter the telco industry – particularly in areas such as previously profitable residential access which has become commoditised through the rollout of national broadband networks through NBN in Australia and Chorus in New Zealand.

Remote working is on the rise, and many are taking advantage of this newfound flexibility by moving out of urban areas and looking for a CSP that will provide reliable, high-speed connectivity.

Although these transformations may, at first glance, appear like daunting tasks, CSPs that enact cultural changes and take advantage of new partnering opportunities are finding it easier to achieve their modernisation goals economically and deliver optimal results without any service disruptions.

New growth drivers

Much of this digital transformation is being fueled by the rollout of 5G coverage, which provides CSPs with a powerful new tool to retain existing customers and entice new ones.

5G’s faster speeds, higher capacities, and drastically lower latency help minimize last-mile bottlenecks for data traffic and allows for improved performance for existing and next-generation applications that require network connectivity.

However, 5G also creates a proliferation of devices and traffic on the network. These are impossible to manage with manual processes, necessitating business equaling processes updates, service-delivery automation, and configuration changes.

There is also a new level of choice and competition driving innovation in the market. Remote working is on the rise, and many are taking advantage of this newfound flexibility by moving out of urban areas and looking for a CSP that will provide reliable, high-speed connectivity.

Whereas regional and metro services have traditionally differed in quality, there is now a pressing need to close the digital divide and deliver equal connectivity to rural and urban customers. This opens further opportunities for CSPs to consider the needs of these diverse audiences and retain customers as competitive services become available.

We’ll discuss this further in blogs two and three of this series as we explore changing customer demands and how new applications are driving trends in network technology.

As touched upon in this blog post, the telecommunications industry is in a transitional phase. Download this white paper from Ciena and IT News to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities CSPs are facing.