Network Transformation Trends
The year 2016 could easily be termed the year of mobile broadband in India. Mobile data usage has more than doubled in the last three years and is poised for more growth still, with 4G and 3G gaining momentum. Usage increased from 5.87 lakh terabytes in 2013-14 to more than 14 lakh terabytes in 2015-16, according to data by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
With data consumption on the rise, it is hardly surprising that India’s service providers are exploring technologies that enable them to enhance capacity and provide better customer experiences, while also bringing down operational costs. The following trends are likely to dominate the Indian telecommunications segment in the coming year:
In the beginning of 2016, we talked about the fact that future networks will be all about software (See Voice and Data website, January 11, 2016). That will still very much be the case in 2017. There’s no doubt that more of our customers will embrace software programmability and virtualization to better manage their networks. One key benefit from software for the end user is that network downtime issues will decrease. For example, in the past locating the point where a fiber is cut caused considerable downtime. But intelligent software and analytics are now available to help pinpoint the exact location of a cut, without needing to send a team out in the field to investigate.
Additionally, recent advancements in software will reduce the limitations
of proprietary and box-centric networks to enable more flexibility and programmability. This will open up networks to greater choice for operators and help eliminate vendor “lock-in”.
Indian service providers will continue to feel pressure from end users for more high-bandwidth services like cloud computing, video, mobile applications and the internet of