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The telecoms industry has, time and time again, innovated and driven innovation across entire business ecosystems, transforming entire sectors as we know them.

The proliferation of 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and edge computing is set to achieve great things and not just for the telecoms sector, but society as a whole. The unique foundation that this combination provides will make way for some groundbreaking use cases in several industries and will completely alter the customer experience.

The promise of 5G

The advent of 5G has brought about tremendous potential and promise. This next-generation technology brings so much more to the table than just ultra-fast speeds, high throughput, and low latency. Not only will it enhance mobile broadband to handle immense amounts of data rates across wider areas, but it will also enable machine-type communications to support state-of-the-art, next-generation services such as Internet of Things (IoT) powered services and will support mission-critical applications which would have never been thought possible.

The real value of 5G will be realized in its ability to address enterprise needs. However, it seems that it will take some time, perhaps a few years, before we begin to see an uptake of 5G in industry verticals.

But in the case of telcos, it seems likely that they will be the first to benefit from its applications and thrive in the 5G enterprise world.

Customer experience in the pandemic-stricken digital era

Paolo Rizzardini, Chief Commercial Officer at Mondia believes that the most prominent industry trend as of yet has been “the focus on placing customers at the heart of all processes and adapting their experience, digital transformation, loyalty, and engagement accordingly.”

He added, “The second notable trend is the shift of revenue streams from the core voice and data revenue to new revenue streams from digital efforts. Expansion into digital domains is done with the goal of operators being recognized as leaders in all digital services - from loyalty apps, health and wellness apps, and digital entertainment to eWallets and data monetization.”

Indeed, it is a very interesting time for service providers right now. It is especially interesting because a lot has changed since the outbreak of COVID-19. Several industries were catapulted into their digital transformation journey a great deal faster than they had originally planned, due to the repercussions brought on by the pandemic.

With work and consumption being shifted solely into the home throughout the first wave of the outbreak, telcos had to work extra hard to ensure business continuity, for themselves and other businesses. Telcos were the very backbone of the economy, enabling digital transformation and providing the necessary connectivity to work from home and consume services from home.

In reference to this, Rizzardini stated, “Operators across the globe have been affected by the overall decrease in customer spending, change in recharge behavior, and the sudden decline in roaming revenue. While customers minimized their spending on non-essentials and chose WiFi over data, Telcos had to accelerate their yearly digital transformation plans to be ready in a matter of weeks.”

Before the pandemic, the world was slowly but surely catching up with digital inventions and taking their time on their digital transformation journey. Since the pandemic, the shift to digital became more prominent than ever, with the general realization of its real value, potential, and necessity.

“All services had to be made available digitally and new digital entertainment services were launched to keep up with the increased demand for digital entertainment during this climate. Retaining customer engagement will continue to be the top priority for Telcos, with emphasis on increasing all digital efforts to pivot from the change in customer behavior,” Rizzardini continued.

The customer experience has transformed throughout the first half of 2020 and will continue to do so. We learned that necessity is truly the mother of invention. The future of the digitalized customer experience is coming into fruition and is set to unlock a world of opportunities that we would not have thought possible with the technology that we have previously had available to us.

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