In 2024, the telecom industry is set for a dynamic transformation, with artificial intelligence (AI) emerging as the dominant force. Let’s delve into the predictions and trends shaping the telecom landscape this year.
AI’s Impact Across the Telecom Spectrum
AI is set to revolutionize the entire telecom ecosystem, from networks and data centers to IoT, devices, and customer service. Expect advancements in data security, marketing, and business transformation, but also challenges in implementation and disruption.
Declining Growth in Broadband Investment
PwC analysts foresee a slowdown in both fixed and mobile broadband network investment in 2024. Nokia anticipates a challenging mobile broadband market, partly due to India’s rapid 5G deployment in 2023. However, fiber broadband deployments with 10Gb connectivity are expected to expand, driven by government funding.
The Continuing Saga of 5G
Despite promises, 5G has yet to deliver its full potential, with service providers struggling to monetize it. However, the release of 3GPP Release-17 technologies in 2024 may open new avenues, including IoT advancements and non-terrestrial network (NTN) support via satellite communications.
Satellite 5G’s Ascension
Satellite-based 5G is poised for takeoff in 2024, offering critical support for private networks, IoT, and mobile broadband. It promises to enhance 5G coverage in underserved areas, providing economical high-speed internet connections.
The expansion of fiber deployments necessitates upgrades in home WiFi networks. The proliferation of cloud gaming services will drive demand for high-speed connectivity. Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 will see rapid adoption, accessing additional spectrum in the 6GHz band.
Geopolitical Factors at Play
Geopolitical tensions between the US and China will continue to affect the tech landscape in 2024, potentially impacting investments and market access. Other countries will leverage this rivalry to serve their interests.
Sustainability Takes Center Stage
Telecoms aim to reduce their carbon footprint in 2024, driving the shift from copper wire to energy-efficient fiber optics, decommissioning power-intensive 3G networks, and adopting power-saving technologies in 5G gear. The deployment of 6G networks will require even more energy-efficient equipment.
The Dawn of 6G
While 5G matures, 2024 marks the start of the 6G race, with the ITU’s WRC23 identifying spectrum frequency bands for 6G services. Questions around spectrum allocation and potential conflicts with existing services will be addressed.
Challenges and Opportunities Abound
2024 presents telecom with a mix of challenges and opportunities. Satellite 5G and enhanced WiFi promise expanded connectivity, but AI’s role in reducing costs, enhancing efficiency, and ensuring sustainability will be crucial.
In conclusion, the telecom industry in 2024 is a landscape where AI’s influence is pervasive, satellite 5G is set to soar, and WiFi undergoes significant upgrades. Navigating these transformations and challenges will be key to the industry’s success.
Source: Developing Telecoms