Round up of tech predictions for 2017 – operators in the digital world

Written by on December 23, 2016 in Opinion with 0 Comments

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As we prepare to slide, or leap, into 2017, the customary predictions for the ‘big things’ in 2017 are coming in thick and fast. Some, in cyber security, we have already covered.

Reuters, for instance, believes that the holiday season will see sales of virtual assistants far outstrip virtual reality devices. Indeed, guest writer Richard Windsor has already discussed whether 2016 was actually a bit patchy for VR and not the runaway success that was predicted at the beginning of the year.

And among predictions of bots and self service and AI, Juniper Research predicts that the ‘big thing’ in 2017 will be eSports. We confess that we had no idea what this was until the team explained that it is basically video games played at a professional level and that hundreds of millions of people will watch them next year (who knew?).

Other, more relevant and less headline catching predictions have been creeping through as well.

For instance, Daniel Kurgan, CEO of BICS, believes that, ‘as operators and internet service providers make headway in giving subscribers the ultimate user experience, 2017 could prove to be a turning point for the industry as a whole’, but only for ‘those who have readied themselves to take advantage’.

He also believes that ‘the abolition of EU roaming charges will force significant change in the industry and will have a knock on effect for wholesalers, who will be under increasing pressure to reduce their own fees’. The wholesale roaming issue is still being debated in the EU.

Wholesalers, according to Kurgan, ‘are set to play a crucial role in the development and transformation of the telecoms industry in 2017, acting as a facilitator of new partnerships across the sector’.

Meanwhile, CSG International’s CTO Ken Kennedy, believes that ‘as IoT connected home services move further from idea to reality, cable will position itself to become the main aggregator of the home services ecosystem’.

He also sees 2017 as being the tipping point for self-service and the year that telecoms companies – and many others – finally grasp the opportunity to use the data that the IoT (in all its forms) is producing.

Across in the fintech arena, payments guru Dave Birch believes that the next year will be the year of ‘regtech’ which is not about reducing the cost of transactions themselves, but that using ‘the new technology to reduce the cost of regulating the transactions has a much better business case’. He also believes it will be the year that digital identity tops the regtech agenda. ‘One of the key RegTechs, if not the key RegTech, is digital identity. It has finally risen to the top of the agenda and this year it will finally change the way business works.

Meanwhile, according to JWT Intelligence, here are 10 terms you need to know in 2017: Attention Economy; Brexterity; Gamevertising; Ganjapreneurs; Healthtopia; Kidults: Nootropics; Polycultural; Silicon Soup, and of course, Vagina-nomics.

We’ll say no more.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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