Technology has come a long way in the past decade, and the telecom industry is no exception. Since 2010, this sector has seen incredible advancements and the worldwide revenue of telecom services is estimated to be €1,130 billion. This year, we have seen an overwhelming move towards mobile and flexible working — a trend that was already in place before the lockdown made it a necessity. Thanks to the telecom industry and the innovations that we are predicting to see over the coming years, working remotely is set to be more efficient than ever before.

The advancements of telecoms

It was during the 2010s that VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) began to really build traction and offer a high-tech solution for the telecom industry around the world. Along with the growing availability of VoIP, the past decade has seen an incredible improvement in internet services and high-quality internet became available to the masses, with many users benefitting from 100Mbps and upwards connections — at reasonable prices. As more and more businesses shifted their processes towards cloud services, the internet has evolved into an absolutely essential tool for any company.

Since then, cloud services also make flexible and remote working possible — something that has come in extremely useful in the recent months of lockdown. Remote working has also benefitted from fibre broadband which has become far more accessible for everyone in recent years — an estimated 96 per cent of the UK now have access to internet speeds of at least 24Mbps.

So, that’s what we’ve seen over recent years in the telecom industry, but what does the future hold? The 2020s are set to bring some extraordinary telecom innovations and trends — here are the top four to look out for.

Hosted telephony

Businesses everywhere will continue to switch to using cloud-based technology, at an ever-accelerating rate and largely switch to a cloud-first approach and business plan. Hosted voice services will also become the norm — necessitating an improved telecommunications infrastructure.

Most businesses are set to move away from the need for physical equipment wherever possible, switching from traditional PBX systems and towards a softphone-only environment. As well as offering a smarter way to operate, this switch will also bring many other benefits, including:

  • Disaster recovery capabilities — traditionally, this was only afforded to organisations with a lot of money to spend
  • Flexibility — giving staff the ability to work from any location while still being part of the corporate system
  • Preparing for the ISDN switch-off
  • Cost-savings — which can easily be achieved through consolidation, reduced call spend, and typically a low capital expenditure when implementing a new system

The ISDN switch-off

Openreach has already announced that analogue and ISDN services will be coming to an inevitable end in 2025, which means that all businesses will have to walk away from these traditional systems and embrace the future of telecom technology. It is essential that these upgrades are made before it is too late, and that businesses aren’t left without their voice services entirely as a result of reacting too slowly. From now on, any new buildings or upgrades are set to be developed around super-fast fibre FTTP instead of the FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) technology that we have seen before now. This mass upgrade is set to provide speeds of up to 1Gbps.

Providers are upping their game

Many providers are taking it to the next level and utilising mobile convergence options that will allow your phone system the functionality of a softphone without the need for one. Mobile convergence technology will be yet another factor that facilitates remote, flexible working. We are already well on our way to full technological convergence (Smart phones, for example, already combine the functionality of a telephone, a camera, a music player, etc.), but we are likely to see this tech become more integrated within our business practices over the coming years.

5G will give us endless mobile possibilities

Both customers and businesses are set to benefit endlessly from the mass-introduction of 5G. Mobile voice services will be greatly improved by the installation of 5G and this will mean that a mobile workforce will be able to use voice services even when they are on the go and away from a WiFi connection. These exciting possibilities will also be furthered by innovations such as AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) — both of which will contribute to the easy formation of an interconnected mobile workforce.

The future is more inter-connected than ever, while also looking to be extremely mobile. Make sure your business stays up to date with the trends and try to stay one step ahead so that you can always ensure that you’re benefitting from an efficient and well-connected workforce. If you feel that it’s time to make some upgrades or improvements in your telecoms systems already, utilise some IT support and some expert advice to really up your game.

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