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Oracle Communications 2022 Predictions: 5 Trends Driving Innovation in Telecommunications in 2022

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

5 Trends Driving Innovation in Telecommunications in 2022

By Jukka Westhues, Market Insights Director, and Jean Lawrence, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Oracle Communications

Between the ongoing pandemic, evolving customer expectations, and the growing war for talent, the telecommunications industry saw its fair share of challenges in 2021. However, the industry continued to prove its resiliency as it accelerated 5G rollouts, increased adoption of cloud native and, of course, provided the connectivity customers rely on. As we look ahead to 2022, here are five technology trends that will help drive further innovation in the telecommunications industry.

1.     2022 will usher in a period of "co-creation" between communications service providers (CSPs) and partners to imagine and launch industry-specific solutions.

Gone are the lone cowboy days of CSPs providing the full suite of services to consumers all by themselves. As the value of pure connectivity becomes commoditized and service providers must move up the value chain, partnerships and ecosystems are critical to value creation. Furthermore, the business case for 5G rests on B2B and B2B2X, which requires a shift from the traditional B2C mindset and into thinking about how service providers, application developers, hyperscalers and other contributors can come together to create multi-sided business models.

This co-creation can be fostered in idea labs. For example, forward-leaning CSPs like Vodafone have launched an Innovation Factory to drive innovation into new verticals, test early prototypes with target audiences and assess solutions. They have achieved real results in areas like vaccine tracking and 5G remote media production. Similarly, software and cloud providers like Oracle provide Industries Innovations Labs that welcome thousands of customers and partners to a hands-on simulated space to explore and accelerate new revenue opportunities based on emerging technologies across verticals like manufacturing, utilities, government and hospitality. Co-creation and collaboration will underpin value creation in the 5G economy.

2.     The "Great Resignation" will drive communications service providers to become ever more creative in recruiting and retaining top talent in 2022.

In the wake of Covid-19, societal and workplace upheaval have resulted in what some call The Great Resignation, with large numbers of employees across industries leaving or changing jobs. The communications industry, like many others, faces a global shortage of skilled talent, which is becoming acute as service providers increasingly require software and architecture skills to capitalize on the digital economy. Industry innovators are addressing the challenge by initiating college internships and specialized recruiting programs, offering "returnships" to provide an on-ramp for employees who have taken a break from employment, and investing in the upskilling of their existing workforce to meet the needs ahead.

3.     CSPs will embrace customer-aware charging.

Today most service providers charge customers for usage based on macro factors like location and service type. In 2022, they will begin employing customer-aware charging, where they apply AI algorithms to data about individual customers to provide highly personalized rates. This involves analyzing customer usage patterns for specific services like social media, understanding lifetime value, propensity to churn and location, and combining this with company-specific objectives around pricing margins to propose personalized charges in real time that will appeal to the customer. This scenario was recently demonstrated in an award-winning TM Forum catalyst proof of concept called 5G Chargers. 2022 will also see smarter use of data in order to increase customer satisfaction and service provider revenue.

4.     2022 will see a surge of low latency 5G scenarios, such as cloud gaming and VR/AR. We may not be ready for the Metaverse yet, but these are steps on the journey.

From its origins, 5G held out the promise of advanced use-cases based on higher scale and extremely low latency. So far, 5G has mostly been delivering on the basic service of "broader" broadband. However, that is about to change. With 5G networks and edge-computing resources being deployed more broadly, service providers and enterprises are finally able to begin delivering on those original promises.

Cloud gaming and VR/AR use cases will get increased attention as the required latency will finally be within reach. In fact, a recent Oracle Communications survey found that 93% of service providers plan to launch an average of three so-called advanced services, gaming among the most popular. Not only are the networks ready, but monetization and orchestration systems are rapidly gearing up to support these low latency use cases. We will see more and more examples of gaming and VR/AR use cases being trialed and rolled out in 2022.

5.     Communications service providers will increasingly focus on transforming themselves from "telco to techco" by solving problems with cloud, platforms and automation.

Service providers have come to realize that the operational and business models of old will not help them realize the exciting opportunities that lie ahead with 5G. The TM Forum has already been writing about this. Service providers must adopt a more tech-centric approach in order for them to be able to deliver the services and applications that consumers and enterprises will want in the immediate future.

Siloed, closed IT environments do not translate well to the open, partnership-driven ecosystems that are increasingly required. To compete for both subscribers and employees, service providers will need to adopt the best characteristics of open architectures, AI-assisted operations, automation, DevOps, and the flexibility of cloud infrastructure. Only then will service providers be able to adapt to rapidly evolving tastes and usage characteristics of subscribers. The genie is out of the bottle, the transformation has begun and will only pick steam into 2022 and beyond.

As 5G becomes more mainstream in 2022, CSPs must capitalize on the moment by exploring new business models and revenue streams. By rethinking how they operate and embracing new technologies, CSPs will see 5G ROI and expand their value proposition to customers, employees, partners, and investors.



Jukka Westhues, Markets Insights Director, Oracle Communications

Jukka Westhues 

Jukka Westhues is currently the Director of Market Insights at Oracle Communications. He has been working in telecommunications for 21 years, first as a management consultant, then with Nokia and later with Oracle.


Jean Lawrence, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Oracle Communications

Jean Lawrence 

As senior director of product marketing, Jean Lawrence leads the development and execution of strategy, communications, and product launches for Oracle monetization solutions. She helps customers around the world realize the benefits of the digital economy by providing flexible subscription services, strengthening their customer relationships, and achieving recurring revenue streams compliant with financial requirements. In her 21 years of technology and communications industry experience, Jean has held marketing, strategy, and product development leadership positions at Computer Sciences Corporation, Motorola, Alliance Telecom Solutions, and Aerial Communications (now part of T-Mobile). She holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with concentrations in marketing and strategy, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame.

Published Tuesday, December 28, 2021 7:29 AM by David Marshall
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