The telecommunication sector in South Africa is one of the most advanced in Africa.
This can be attributed to high mobile and Internet penetration and increased connectivity infrastructure. Globally, the telecommunication industry has changed dramatically in the last 10 years as data-hungry users consume more bandwidth. As a result, providers have expanded their service portfolio to cater to this demand.
Let’s take a closer look at the telecommunication trends that are set to dominate in 2020 and beyond.
The power and possibility of 5G
Although 5G is a hot topic right now, its rollout will be pursued on a case-by-case basis. According to the ICT Ministry, South Africans should expect a 5G rollout in 2020. The technology will deliver a range of benefits for mobile networks, including the ability to carry more data traffic at greater speeds and with more reliability while connecting myriad devices to the Internet.
Speaking of connected devices, there will be a large number of connected data sources globally by 2020. The growth in data volume will reach exabyte volumes and enter the world of zettabytes every year. To put this into perspective, the largest storage centres are measured in petabytes, which are only a fraction of one exabyte.
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So, what does this mean for a telco or ISP? IoT represents an unprecedented blueprint for this industry. It’s estimated that, by 2020, the ratio of machine to human communications will be 30:1. This means operators can extend their subscriber base from six billion people to 50 billion, or more than one trillion machines and objects – this surpasses population numbers and introduces new subscribers to the telecom industry.
This may sound a bit odd, but telcos are looking into managing and providing content. Thinking digitally is already embedded in a telco’s business model because they provide connectivity infrastructure to support a digital economy.
The number of digital consumers will skyrocket, digital platforms as a means of communications will increase and, consequently, telcos will need to adapt to changing communication services demands. The bottom line is that more digital natives are entering the core telco market.
We've upgraded our capacity on the West African Cable System (WACS) to 400GB to meet an increase in demand for higher throughput, ultra-low latency connectivity – an increase triggered by the explosion of content – enabling greater African social and economic participation in the global economy. Read our blog for more details on this new development.
IT spending is set to rise
Telcos will increase spend on hardware and software that will enable them to achieve long-term efficiency gains and greater agility. Supporting digital growth, reducing costs and improving user experiences remain top of the agenda. Growth in spending on systems hardware and packaged software will be particularly strong, reflecting the move to more flexible virtualisation technologies.
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