Dustin Kehoe, IDC Asia Pacific's programme director and head of telecom practice, presented the top 10 predictions for telcos for 2015. The following are the forecasts, which were presented at IDC's Telecom Summit 2014 in Singapore on 7 November 2014.
1. Telcos will move into an API Business
They will start offering API products such as voice, MMS/SMS and value added services that are built into contact centres in multi-vendor environment. They will also provide developers access to network resources, and work together with over-the-top (OTT) service providers to create new services or products.
2. Telcos will move into precision mobile advertising
Using network resources, network and device analytics, as well as customer segmentation, telcos will be able to offer targeted advertising as a service.
3. Service providers will enter a new dimension of analytics
Telcos will turn to big data and analytics to gain competitive differentiation. This will result in an increasing demand for big data and analytics solutions and talent.
4. Telcos will adopt network virtualisation for better margins
Telcos will adopt programmable networks, virtualise their network equipments and ensure that their network control is centralized on software. This is in contrast to the purpose-built, complex and inflexible networks with network control distributed on hardware that telcos used to have.
5. Open source will start to fragment
According to IDC, OpenStack has won the mindshare with CIOs and cloud service providers. Cloud vendors will therefore adhere to the requirements of OpenStack while innovating atop that to limit interoperability. Kehoe said, "Everything will be called OpenStack but they will all be slightly different so there is a risk of open source being too fragmented. Telcos should thus be careful when choosing vendors."
6. Telcos will enter the Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) 3.0 space
As part of their offerings, telcos will be providing threat intelligence, built-in incidence response, deterministic routing, as well as automation and orchestration. Telcos are also expected to spend more time on internal threats as they do on external threats.
7. Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) deployments will be carried on a fixed network
Fixed line is expected to carry over 90 percent of the traffic for industrial IoT. Besides that, intelligent embedded systems will contribute to 65 percent of all units. Telcos could gain from these by offering IoT managed services, which is forecasted to reach to about US$775 million by 2015 for the Asia Pacific region.
8. Networks will become workload-aware
As IoT pushes traffic and compute to the edge, networks will be required to be more intelligent. Besides that, telcos today are expected to have a better understanding of how the cloud affects their networks. This understanding will impact telcos' buying behaviour as they now see the need to consider compute together with network as part of interoperability.
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