In this article

This is the year we can expect to see new and improved technology continue to take us deeper into the digital age. For the telecoms industry this year, we can expect to see a further upsurge in technologies and trends to boost customer experience, network and business resilience, and generate growth.

Here, I underline four key trends I think will make the biggest impact this year:

1. ChatGPT will be the new tool in demand

Artificial intelligence is transforming just about every industry — and telecommunications cannot expect to be any different. In particular, ChatGPT is currently generating a great deal of hype. It is an AI tool that is advanced in generating content that has a language structure – human or machine language – unlike anything we have previously seen.

In fact, according to research from Gartner, by 2027, chatbots will become the primary customer service channel for roughly a quarter of organizations. For the telecoms industry, it could transform customer service tools such as chatbots and voice-enabled virtual assistants. Additionally, this ground-breaking software has vast long-term potential for the way software and apps could be developed in the future.  

So, it's definitely one to watch develop over the next year.

2. AI-based network optimization    

Telecommunications data contains highly sensitive information, such as geography, source number, and account billing information. As a result, this information is gold dust for hackers conducting fake phishing calls, identity theft and more.

In fact, according to research from McKinsey, the increase in cyberattacks —which is causing trillions of dollars of damage worldwide every year —means more businesses are now turning to the experts to provide them with the best cyber protection available.

As a result, we're beginning to see AI used in more advanced cybersecurity protection tools. It is being used to implement algorithms that can identify and prohibit fraudulent activities on the network. AI can significantly reduce response times, providing cybersecurity teams with the opportunity to minimize threats before they can exploit internal information systems.

In order to implement this, AI solutions often need to be integrated with existing network operations systems and processes. Mobile telecommunications operators must ensure that they have a plan in place to smoothly integrate AI solutions into their existing systems and processes, to not disrupt current operations and oversee network risks.  

3. 5G will progress ESG initiatives  

The latest cellular technology has the power to do more than just improve network speeds; it can help progress ESG goals.

A recent Gartner survey unveiled that 87 percent of business leaders expect to increase their organization's investment in sustainability over the next two years—which includes supporting organization-wide ESG goals.

Fortunately, there are many technologies available in the market today such as 5G, which is helping businesses achieve ESG initiatives. For instance, the potential of 5G can lower greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing traffic jams, enhancing traffic control, guaranteeing cars are running efficiently and optimizing public transportation.  

The use of 5G is starting to increase across the globe, and savings and effectiveness are beginning to be introduced in every sector. So, for the telecoms sector, business leaders should begin looking at cutting-edge, new equipment, architectures and technologies, to reduce the reliance on energy for their services.

4. Network as a platform  

With the evolution of 5G and AI, technological boundaries are moving forward to create the biggest innovation platform ever. Therefore, telecommunication companies are beginning to use the "network as a platform," to make their network infrastructure more easily integrated to fulfil multiple market demands.

Network platforms connect buyers, sellers, and service providers directly which streamlines business interactions, simplifies the supporting systems landscape, and drastically reduces the total cost to serve the end customer. This will make the network more agile and flexible to both customers and partners.  

To use AI for network as a platform, telecom operators need to have the infrastructure in place to support AI-powered systems. This could include high-performance computing systems, large-scale storage systems, and other technologies that are necessary for running and managing network as a platform system.  

This year is shaping up to be another transformative year for the telecom industry. These four trends bring technological revolution, digital transformation, improved quality of service and new revenue opportunities for telcos.  

Networking leaders will be best served by focusing on these areas to accelerate the adoption of innovative solutions while working to improve their networks. This will encourage high-performance, secure connectivity for all users and improved communication for businesses in 2023.