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5G remains next major frontier in telecoms technology

By , Africa editor
South Africa , 28 May 2024
Nitesh Singh, MD: communications, media, and technology for Accenture Africa.
Nitesh Singh, MD: communications, media, and technology for Accenture Africa.

Despite being in development and deployment for some years, 5G technology is still seen as the next major frontier in telecom technology.

In an interview with ITWeb Africa, Nitesh Singh, MD: communications, media, and technology for Accenture Africa, said that 5G will accelerate the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and lead to increased automation, efficiency, and quality of life.

Speaking on the sidelines of the recently concluded 5th Edition Connected Africa - Telecom Innovation and Excellence Awards 2024, Singh spoke about the trends transforming the telecommunications industry.

On the benefits of 5G, Singh said that it offers faster speeds, lower latency, higher capacity, and improved network reliability, and is set to have a ‘profound impact’.

“It enables the seamless connectivity of a massive number of devices, supports transformative technologies like IoT, augmented and virtual reality, and edge computing, and drives innovation across industries.”

Addressing other trends redefining the telecoms industry, Singh said telecom providers are increasingly harnessing the power of data analytics to gain deeper customer insights, understand behaviour patterns, and deliver personalised services.

Singh noted that the telecoms sector is undergoing significant change.

He said: “Connectivity is seen as a human right, leading to unprecedented levels of investment in network modernisation but driving down prices. Business models are being reinvented, because there is a search for value as there is stagnation and new competitors – but platform businesses are generating higher returns.”

He outlined that partnerships and ecosystem collaboration are leading to growth where historically it was “about driving connectivity”.

On the subject of using data and AI in telecoms, Singh said: “Telecom companies are leveraging AI to enhance customer experiences, optimise network performance, and automate processes.

“AI enables personalised interactions, predictive maintenance, and intelligent network management.”

He added that AI-powered conversations and smart assistants can transform the way telecom providers interact with customers. “By leveraging AI and automation, telecom providers can offer personalised and seamless omnichannel experiences, enhance customer engagement, and provide consistent and efficient support.”

By combining AI with data and analytics, telecom providers can gain deeper customer insights and help to identify trends, he added.

“This enables them to adapt to changing customer demands, create relevant products and services, and deliver better experiences for customers.”

Network optimisation is another area where the technology will impact telcos, he said. “AI algorithms can analyse real-time network data to optimise network resources, allocate bandwidth efficiently, and improve network performance.

“This can result in better call quality, reduced dropped calls, and improved overall reliability of mobile phone connections.”

Artificial intelligence can also be leveraged for predictive maintenance, he said: “AI can analyse network equipment data to detect patterns and anomalies, enabling proactive maintenance and preventing network outages. By addressing potential issues before they occur, AI helps ensure uninterrupted services for customers.”

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