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Global Telecom Providers Adapt to Digital Transformation

Each new year brings a fresh set of industry and market predictions from the leading analysts. This year, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic. The Analysys Mason annual Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) predictions reveal which trends will make an impact in the marketplace during the next 12 months.

According to their assessment, telecom network operators and their suppliers must pay close attention to these 10 key trends for their decision-making during 2016 -- note, they are listed in order of significance.

Top-Ten TMT Predictions for 2016

  1. The contest for worldwide dominance in low-power, wide-area (LPWA) wireless networking technology will be confined to NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) and LoRa wide area networks for IoT.
  2. The most important M2M sector in 2016 will be connected cars – the number of connected vehicles will increase to over 150 million, with the largest network operators reaping the benefits.
  3. Google will decisively intervene in the communication services market with Android N: it will support Rich Communications Suite (RCS) services natively, while also opening up the smartphone native-dial capabilities to third parties.
  4. Network operators will be extending service reach to non-SIM devices such as tablets and smart watches; they will also integrate real-time features into IoT initiatives, such as smart homes and connected cars.
  5. The proportion of mobile network operators that offer fixed broadband services will rise to above 50 percent worldwide in 2016.
  6. Average monthly data consumption per household will exceed 100GB in developed markets in 2016.
  7. Network operators and telecom equipment vendors will increase the adoption rate of LTE-A to enable mobile broadband speeds above 500Mbps and support the transition to 5G.
  8. Communications service providers (CSPs) will prioritize short-term gains over new service delivery opportunities. As a result, network function virtualization (NFV) spending will nearly double in 2016, outpacing software defined networking (SDN) spend, to account for more than 20 percent of the $9.5 billion software-controlled networking market.
  9. Network virtualization technology will enable distribution of content delivery elements much closer to the mobile network edge to improve customer experience even as video traffic grows, as demonstrated by at least one high-profile "mobile edge computing" commercial deployment.
  10. CSP to digital service provider (DSP) conversions will increase in 2016 and will require stronger relationships with digital content providers, including leading video and music distributors.

The Analysys Mason TMT predictions are based on worldwide primary research supported by analysis. They come from research focused on five key long-term themes for communications service providers, which include: digital economy and IoT, the future of communication, convergence, network innovation and digital operating models.

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