As May 17 is observed as World Telecommunications Day, it would not be incorrect to say that telecommunications and Information technology have been one pillar on which the world has been able to sail through the Covid pandemic.
In the last few years, telecommunications has clearly moved beyond providing people-to-people connectivity besides successfully adding layers around it to contribute more meaningfully.
Public health companies are leveraging emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and geographic information systems to help the government and healthcare agencies manage and monitor the virus spread.
Gaurav Vasu, Founder & CEO, UnearthInsights, an advisory firm for companies on technology and people issues, says, “Telecom industry’s contribution in the pandemic has been a monumental one where telecom operator created IoT and Sensor-based tracking tech for vaccination companies for digital tracking of vaccine supply chains in real-time. Companies also connected citizens to verified supplies of medicines, oxygen, plasma, etc and also allowed booking of vaccination slots.”
Experts believe that the efforts of leading telecom players have not only helped government and citizens during Covid times but have also helped them test the possibility of building content, AI/IoT devices and enterprise solutions for the future, which are expected to generate 15% to 25% revenue in next 5 years from pools beyond connectivity in content, enterprise solutions, and AI/IoT Devices.
While enabling the ecosystem for the society during the pandemic, telecom companies have also invested in their operations to boost capabilities to deliver for the future.
Amit Marwah, Head of Marketing & Corporate Affairs, Nokia India, says “There has been a paradigm shift in the way businesses are adopting digital technology across verticals driven by technologies such as IoT, automation, AI/ML, and cloud. We have implemented private LTE at Nokia’s Chennai plant, which saw labor time reduced and efficiency improve with 86 percent lead time reduced and savings of 31 thousand man-hours.
Many large enterprises today are looking to leverage Industry 4.0 as it gives them a competitive advantage and a smooth path for evolving to 5G to address the more challenging use cases as they come to the fore.”
With 5G trials announced recently, India is assured to be on the 5G map soon. This will be another leapfrog for telecommunications to move ahead of just connectivity, be more efficient, and play a more meaningful role in society.
5G requires more strategically placed tower infrastructure. This opens up the market for advanced spatial analytics tools.”
Agendra Kumar, Managing Director, Esri India foresees geospatial infrastructure emerging as the backbone of this transformation in the telecom industry driving key decisions such as where to build, expand and upgrade the network infrastructure, where is new revenue opportunities, or identifying unreached areas for digital inclusion.
He says, “As we get ready for the next generation of 5G and FTTx services, the role of Geographic Information System (GIS) becomes even more instrumental to maximizing the value of the communications network for businesses, communities and society.”