PARTNER CONTENT: By 2030, global connections will reach more than 200 billion, with some 1.6 billion fibre broadband subscribers enjoying data rates of 10Gb/s at home.

In the expanding digital economy, businesses need to develop new capabilities across five areas to face the changes and new challenges brought by digital transformation, argued Strategy Analytics in its latest whitepaper, “GUIDE to 2030”.

The competencies are the ability to expand services, innovate efficiency, leverage resources, compete on value and contribute to society.

“Service Expanding” means full-scenario coverage and full-service penetration capabilities. Gigabit anytime, anywhere capabilities further extend the network to include gigabit user experience and coverage, delivering ultra-fast connectivity in terms of both width and depth.

“Efficiency Innovating” is vital to improving operator O&M efficiency, with innovations such as network automation a new requirement. Addressing the varied demands of new services and applications at ports, mines and manufacturing plants, for example, requires complex O&M intelligence. Big data technologies also are needed to implement automated O&M, which includes network autonomy, self-healing and self-optimisation.

Enterprises need the tools to better manage computing and network resources to efficiently allocate transport capacity and maximise “Resource Leveraging”.

“Value Competing” requires presenting competitiveness in value creation based on the monetisation of on-demand and differentiated experiences. For example, multi-dimensional charging methods can meet future B2C and B2B requirements for deterministic experiences.

“Society Contributing” means expanding green technologies and contributions in the broader scope, including environment, society and governance. Networks should be energy-efficient and green to start with, before operators can turn to supporting industries become energy efficient.

New blueprint

To better support companies along their digital transformation journeys, the paper introduced the “GUIDE IS NOW” initiative, a three-dimensional blueprint covering business, technology and social responsibility.

GUIDE is derived from: Gigaverse initiative, Ultra-automation speed-up, Intelligent computing and network as a service, Differentiated experience on-demand and More Bits Less Watts.

Gigaverse initiative brings ubiquitous gigabit connectivity and digitalisation to everything, while Ultra-automation speed-up is required to address future uncertainties.

Intelligent computing and network as a service will provide new benefits of collaboration; Differentiated experience on-demand creates diversified options for businesses and multi-dimensional monetisation models; and ESG is about delivering more bits with less watts.

The paper posited that the three-layer green ICT architecture can contribute to a harmonious society, making GUIDE especially timely.

Operators in different regions are at different development states and will have different strategies. Therefore, GUIDE is positioned as a future-oriented business proposal for operators rather than a short-term scenario-based solution for quick wins.

While operators in emerging markets may face challenges in implementing all five aspects of GUIDE, the paper recommended a three-phase approach.

Customers in these markets can focus on short-term goals in the initial phase that are appropriate to local conditions.

For example, in terms of the Gigaverse initiative, even if no 5G spectrum is available, an operator can use the vendor’s 5G-ready 4.5G gear at the beginning. After 5G spectrum is allocated, operators can upgrade to the next phase.

Next steps

To ensure a smooth transformation towards GUIDE and maximise its benefits, the paper emphasised the importance of a win-win partnership between telecom operators and telecom equipment vendors to advance technology innovation.

Technology innovation should target the expansion and success of operators’ businesses, and the telecom industry can further enhance network capabilities based on these technological innovations. Continuously enhanced network capabilities will be the catalyst for operators’ digital transformation.

With a focus on building their differentiated competitiveness and leveraging their strengths in network capability, operators and their partners should strengthen their collaboration to embrace the adventure and pursue business success in the next decade.