There are a number of industries leading the current changes brought about by the digital evolution – but none more so than the ICT industry. This sector alone has been transformational in developing the appropriate infrastructure, services and equipment required to underpin our societies of the future.
The enormous shift towards digital technologies continues to escalate and the way the world communicates, conducts business, socialises, receives healthcare and education is under-going a massive change. The way we design and build our cities is also evolving as cities around the world make tangible plans and infrastructure decisions to support the future Smart Cities.
The underlying trends of M2M, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing and the over-arching Internet of Things will continue to grow from strength to strength in 2018.
In general, the telecoms operators will focus more heavily on customer retention and churn in the face of dwindling revenues, while also improving mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure with the future in mind. The apps and services generated by digital technologies, including video streaming, will continue to place great pressure on infrastructure and bandwidth.
The large operators are continuously seeking new revenue streams, including moving into vertical and international markets. This will result in an increasing amount of consolidation and acquisition in 2018 as companies re-position themselves and jostle for market share.
4G LTE deployment is a key trend around much of the world and in appropriate markets there is also a keen investment in fixed broadband based on fibre. 5G developments have also gained pace and will continue to be a key area of focus in 2018.
Many of the operators in the emerging markets will focus primarily on mobile infrastructure with lower priced smart phones becoming a dominant trend. Mobile broadband infrastructure is becoming increasingly important in the emerging markets of Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America, as the large populations place more and more demand on existing infrastructure.