With a new year, nay a new decade, early upon us, we start our series of expert predictions into what the year ahead has in store. Against the backdrop of transformative technologies and the latest regulations, Kevin Billings, Director & Industry Principal, Telecoms & Media, Pegasystems, identifies what is in store in 2020 for the media & telecoms sector over the next twelve months.
Flush with 5G firsts but fuzzy on customer value in 2020
As 2019 ends, you cannot escape how much carriers have raced out their 5G network go-lives with everyone wanting to claim a 5G first from first 5G village to 5G city to 5G shopping centre. But, let’s be honest that all this techno sound and fury is a game of retaining and winning those super-nerd customers. Bundles that offer 5G some of the time in some places may dislodge or cement high spending innovator-class customers but aren’t going to pay for the huge costs of 5G deployment. The job of articulating why 5G matters to masses hasn’t got off the ground much yet and this will have to change in 2020 to pay for the high upfront costs of both 5G and maintaining the legacy services and infrastructure.
Being too complex and costly opens door wider for more digital process automation
Despite their best efforts, CSPs cannot help themselves and make their businesses less complex and thus less costly to run. 5G is a case in point. The licences were hugely expensive to buy, the networks are denser and more complex to plan, deploy and run. And, marketing budgets are being ramped up. As the dust settles, expect more CSPs to reflect on the need for digital process automation that better connects their customer frontend to the service back end. 5G and all the rest of the ever-rolling digital transformation cries out for more end to end robotic process automation.
Digital transformation is the new normal
Digital native spending power is on the rise and there’s little brand connection to carriers, which is unsurprising when some are nearly 40 years old and others are over 100 years old. As customers flit between new digital experiences, CSPs need to do more to be the platform for what’s next. This is a tall order that can be achieved when CSPs rethink how they run their digital businesses, empower more business domain owners to be citizen developers who use low-code solutions to ensure digital processes and products are always adaptable at the pace of market demand.
Squarely in political sights on customer service
However, the UK sorts out the next stage of Brexit, it is more than obvious that high speed broadband connectivity is one of those top people priorities for politicians of all stripes. 2019 is ending with lots of heady corporate propaganda about 5G and the start of a streaming subscriber war between the globe’s biggest content holders. Consumer expectations for flawless high-quality digital experiences are soaring. Politicians fighting for office and looking for levers to improve people’s lives have fallen upon high speed broadband coverage. CSPs will need to work out how to respond in 2020 and, if they are pushed to make bigger capital investments, there will need to be a focus on more internal process efficiencies to push down OPEX as CAPEX seesaws up.