LIVE FROM OPERATIONS TRANSFORMATION FORUM 2018: GSMA Chief Strategy Officer Laxmi Akkaraju (pictured) identified entertainment as one of the next key battlegrounds for operators, explaining the sector could play a key role in delivering a much-needed boost to their balance sheets.
Akkaraju noted 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) will be the key to unlocking the entertainment dollars for operators. The executive highlighted 5G, in particular, as an enabler for operators to “go from a mono-product industry which is focused on connectivity to a multi-product industry”.
While AI will play a key role in optimising operations, “it’s also going to drive the creation of personalised services to help to meet customer needs and preferences,” she explained, adding: “together, these two technologies will help to shape a digital life platform.”
Akkaraju explained that platform will go well beyond the connectivity services of today, delivering new opportunities around entertainment, transport and public services among others.
One such new entertainment opportunity is immersive broadcasting; something Akkaraju experienced at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in February, when pre-standardised 5G networks were used to offer immersive broadcasts from cameras located on vehicles and trackside, enabling viewers to follow particular athletes in action.
The opportunities for operators are only enhanced by a related shift in the entertainment industry, as subscribers have shifted away from linear TV viewing to on-demand streaming services. The GSMA predicts consumption of digital content will grow by 13 per cent during 2018 compared with 2.5 per cent for traditional TV.
While 5G and AI offer the potential to open new revenue streams for operators in terms of data intensive services, connectivity will remain a key element, Akkaraju explained. The technologies will “also provide connectivity for mission critical communication, such as emergency services or public safety services,” she noted.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back