Emerging technologies are transforming the telecommunications industry. In this article we explore five technology applications that are opening up opportunities for telco firms in 2020 and beyond.  



We saw the launch of 5G in 2019, making fifth generation networks accessible to the consumer, but what is to come for telecoms firms in this new decade? The European Union’s action plan confirms implementing uninterrupted 5G in urban areas and along main transport paths by 2025

By adopting 5G we will get improved data rates, enable networking slicing and ultra-low latency efficiencies. 5G will open new opportunities for network operation, customer experience and new services for operators.  We are seeing the telcos role change to be visible as both service providers and technology distributors.

Telcos will have to engage with enterprise customers as well as government, and rethink their sales strategy to allow customers to harness the power of 5G. 


Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

AI is increasingly implemented throughout telecommunications, using applications such as virtual assistants and chatbots to help improve customer service. AI is also essential for the telecommunication network as it allows for optimisation and predictive maintenance through predictive analytics AI.

AI allows telecoms to gather actionable business insights from the volumes of data they collect every day through predictive analytics. 

Vodafone saw a 68% improvement in customer satisfaction after introducing their AI chatbot TOBi.
Source: Vodafone



Internet of Things (IoT) 

There were around 400 million IoT devices with cellular connections at the end of 2016 and that number is projected to reach 1.5 billion in 2022.

If telcos can capitalize on IoT, given the unique selling proposition 5G can bring them, they put themselves in the running for huge potential profits in a global IoT market expected to reach more than US$600 billion by 2022.

Global IoT market expected to reach more than US$600 billion by 2022.
Source: Accenture


Big Data 

In this new decade, Telecommunications companies will continue to capture and produce evermore data volumes from mobile devices, applications, wearable tech and wireless information.

All this data however presents security and privacy risks, telcos need to tackle these security issues to meet regulation compliance as well as ensuring that consumer data is handled and shared with complete approval from the customer.

Data collected by telecoms firms can be analysed to improve customer service, detect and test new products, and track and optimise the network



Telcos worldwide are facing a crisis of identity as they are struggling to compete on offerings other than cost and coverage. While telecommunications are one of the most important services in the world, it is at the top of every telecom’s strategic agenda to remain relevant as more than just a commodity. Using DLT is not only a great way to introduce banking services, but also to provide a payment system that does not incur high-cost banking fees. 

Blockchain has the potential to remove intermediaries or otherwise reduce the friction between business processes where centralised functions act as bottlenecks. Distributed ledgers can also be better aligned with other decentralised functions, such as management of security capabilities as close to the end user as possible. 

Today, mobile carriers have a huge opportunity to move into financial services, and the first movers will have a tremendous advantage. 


Find out more about emerging tech in the telco sector by getting in touch with Hayley McCarthy.

Check out our series of events focusing on how firms are using DLT and Blockchain here.

Our next event is Blockchain Connect in Dublin on March 5th – register for tickets here.