Home5G & BeyondOracle Communications: 2024 industry predictions part II

    Oracle Communications: 2024 industry predictions part II


    Partner content: Cloud is the foundation of future work as telecom and satcos enter a new era of co-optition, and networks move towards autonomy

    The predictions here are the second instalment of what we see coming down the line in 2024. You can find the first part here, which was published last month.

    The role of the cloud in the future of communications

    Cloud communication solutions will be foundational to the future of work: the way people work will remain hybrid and flexible. Today, employees want the choice of working remotely or in an office. Creating human-centric models for a hybrid environment based on secure, seamless communications tools with the flexibility to collaborate and communicate from anywhere is critical to where the workplace is headed.

    This requires an agile approach where each employee communicates according to their own needs. Cloud communication and collaboration solutions are the basis for implementing the future of work. Enterprises need to pay attention to connectivity and flexibility when adopting cloud platforms to ensure that the employee is not limited, while their security perimeter is maximally protected.

    CISOs will evaluate cloud-based solutions to protect voice networks: the noteworthy and sophisticated voice-based hacks that recently targeted major corporations in North America grabbed headlines worldwide and made CISOs in every industry stop and pay attention.

    Voice is the most widely used channel, making it a major threat vector – 73.1% of all interactions use voice either initially or as an escalation from another channel (according to Metrigy’s Customer Insights and Analytics 2023-24).

    Nearly two-thirds (CX MetriCast 2023) said addressing voice fraud is somewhat or extremely important. But, it really should be a top priority for every single CISO with a contact center.

    • The annual cost of fraud varies greatly based on company size. Small companies lose nearly $20K a year, and large companies lose $1.2 million on average (Metrigy Future of Contact Center Q323)
    • Companies using prevention tools report a 12% reduction in operational costs and a 12% improvement in agent efficiency (Metrigy Future of Contact Center Q3, 2023)

    These advanced voice and vishing attacks can have a crippling effect– from impaired productivity and reputational damage to millions of dollars in damages. Voice networks will be an even more popular path of least resistance for bad actors in the future. Minus an early, clear view into the unified communications network, businesses can fall prey to social engineering tactics such as vishing, theft of service, DoS, harassment calls, and account takeovers.

    To ensure a consistent security posture across multiple platforms, including voice, CISOs are looking at cloud-based solutions to protect enterprise-wide communications by providing visibility into communications traffic, cyber events, and voice security. Businesses will be able to detect attacks earlier with real-time analytics, and more security breaches will be detected from the cloud. 

    What’s next for the telecommunications industry?

    SATCOM and telcos will enter a new era of co-opetition: For decades, Satellite Communications (SATCOM) providers have played a critical role in connecting the unconnected, whether they are remote populations, government agencies or enterprises in the aviation, maritime, or media industry. In recent times, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) market has witnessed tremendous momentum with many new players entering the market, promising high-bandwidth and low-latency access to both enterprises and consumers.

    Players like OneWeb (now Eutelsat OneWeb) primarily play in the B2B space and partner with traditional mobile telcos for backhaul services, but they also offer services directly offered to enterprises. On the other hand, Starlink is launching ‘direct to cell’ services in partnership with their global partners, including T-Mobile, Rogers, Optus, KDDI, Salt, and One NZ, starting with the text service in 2024 and followed by voice, data and IoT in 2025.

    As it stands, all dominant signs suggest that the SATCOM providers and traditional telcos will nicely complement each other’s coverage, integrating into each other’s networks to enable diversification of use cases to ultimately provide universal communications access to consumers and enterprises. However, the market may see a shift or even reshape if the SATCOM economics, pricing, service performance, and reliability reach on-par status with telcos.

    Service providers will embrace an autonomous networks future: As CSPs globally seek to more efficiently manage their networks through increased automation and AI/ML, many are looking to chart the path towards an autonomous networks future as espoused by the TMF’s Autonomous Network (AN) project. It encourages CSPs to baseline their current level of operational maturity in certain areas and to outline a roadmap towards true operational autonomy.

    We foresee more CSPs setting public targets with timeframes for AN maturity withing their organizations with many seeking Level 3 compliance (policy based autonomy and conditional closed-loop control) and some Level 4 compliance (intent driven closed-loop control) as well as seeking collaborative partners with whom to engage in the journey. Important to note, however, is that new 5G and 6G use cases and operational automation will depend on CSPs being able to create cloud native network platforms with end-to-end programmability.

    Programmable network platforms will underpin the success of carrier exposure to support the monetisation of 5G networks and beyond: carrier exposure initiatives took a big step forward in 2023. This ranged from the launch of the Open Gateway Initiative and CAMARA APIs to partnerships and showcases of API-based use cases.

    While the concept of standardising APIs for the developer community is encouraging, the industry is still far from the wide-scale adoption of these APIs fueling new and innovative products and services. 

    In the coming year, we can expect carrier exposure strategies to take small steps forward, primarily through service providers foraging strategic partnerships to identify new use cases and define new APIs. Additionally, the industry will continue to grapple with key questions, including what the API monetisation models should be and whether or not a neutral third-party host is essential to scaling API adoption across the industry.

    However, this can only be achieved with the widespread adoption of cloud native networks and cloud-based technologies, and operating cloud native programmable network platforms will require significant investments in data management and network analytics tools.

    About the author

    Shirin Esfandiari is Senior Director of Product Marketing at the Oracle Communications Global Industry Unit, with special focus on best in class technology for 5G, IoT and networks built for cloud. She has over 15 years of telecommunications industry experience in marketing and sales enablement, customer program management and sales consulting with experience drawn from numerous strategic engagements with service providers and partners around the world.

    Prior to Oracle, Shirin held positions with Acme Packet as customer program manager helping Tier 1 operators in the EMEA region. Preceding that she was working for the Ericsson’s global service delivery center in a systems integrator and sales consulting role. Shirin holds an International MBA from the IE Business School, a Masters of Applied Sciences in telecommunications engineering and a Bachelor of electrical engineering from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She is currently working at living in the Madrid, Spain.