8 Things to Watch in Telecom during 2020

By Alan Percy, CMO at TelcoBridges

5G, new FCC rules, Robocalling, 9-1-1 access, TDOS attackers, the Cloud and more in 2020 – a list of 8 things to watch in the upcoming year.

5G in the Wild – promising 10x+ speed increases, enabling augmented and virtual reality in your hand, 5G wireless technology is poised to reach millions of consumers in 2020.  Expect a host of new 5G-enabled handheld devices to hit the market, giving buyers an opportunity to upgrade (at a steep price).  But what will

you do with a blazing fast internet connection in your hand?  An article from FastCompany predicts you will become even more addicted to your mobile devices.   https://www.fastcompany.com/90437800/get-ready-for-5g-to-make-your-phone-even-more-addictive

Kari’s Law Implementation – requiring reprograming of multi-line telephone systems across the USA to allow 9-1-1 calls without first dialing an access code (usually “9”), coming into compliance with Kari’s law must be completed by February 16, 2020.   One of many reasons for businesses to consider retiring their aging TDM PBXs, Kari’s law may be the spark to further wider UCaaS adoption.   https://www.fcc.gov/fcc-amends-rules-improve-access-911

988 Suicide Prevention Hotline Proposal – providing a universal access number for suicide support services, the FCC has proposed implementation of 988 as a three-digit hotline.  Implementation of this proposal would require re-programming some 6,000 switches across the country, which could also be quite disruptive.    https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-proposes-988-suicide-prevention-mental-health-hotline

STIR/SHAKEN Implementation – creating greater penalties and other tools to help stem the tide of illegal robocalls, the recently passed Pallone-Thune TRACED act mandates implementation of STIR/SHAKEN as a means to secure the caller-ID information as it passes through the telephone network.  Watch for significant effort to implement STIR/SHAKEN in 2020 as service providers move to come into compliance.   Learn how it works from the TelcoBridges/TransNexus tutorials at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHullJT-yRI

TDOS Attacks – whether an attempt to extort money or just a nuisance, Telephony Denial of Service attacks are increasing in occurrence and hurting businesses, governments and consumers.   Particularly vulnerable are 9-1-1 PSAPs, requiring agents to wade through false calls and overwhelmed infrastructure, preventing real emergencies from getting prompt emergency services.  Watch for enterprises and governments to invest more in 2020 on preventative software and systems, making their businesses more productive and avoiding service failures.  We hosted a webinar with TransNexus on the topic – view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CsZt8TfT-k

Cloud Communications Adoption – moving communications and collaboration systems to the cloud is accelerating and is on track for another banner year of adoption in 2020.   Companies like Zoom, RingCentral, Vonage, Aircall and others are setting the bar for reliable cloud-based Communications as a Services (xCaaS).  Offering enhanced features and an OPEX business model that better fits growing businesses, xCaaS is getting a lot of attention from enterprise buyers.   As a featured track in the upcoming Enterprise Connect 2020 event, expect to see more enterprise buyers planning their migration.  https://schedule.enterpriseconnect.com/track/cloud-communications

uCPE and SD-WAN – as communications and other applications move from enterprise datacenters to the cloud, the need to more intelligently route traffic from branch offices and retail outlets.  Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) allows organizations to combine private networks with low-cost internet services to more efficiently pass traffic from point A to B.  Providing a platform for SD-WAN implementation, universal CPE (uCPE) equipment allows service providers to put a small cloud compute platform on the customer’s premises, offloading the computation from the core of their networks.   With powerful Virtual Network Function software, other useful functions can share the same hardware, improving security and efficiency.   You can learn more about uCPE and VNFs from a tutorial we produced with Telco Systems this year at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMlWb9HGYKM

Increasing adoption of Video in Business – watch for wider use of video in business during 2020 as the intersection of the “Facetime effect” and cloud communications occurs.  The Facetime effect comes from great use of video calling by consumers, realizing that their hair and makeup doesn’t need to be newscaster perfect to get value from a two-way video call.   Cloud communications platforms provide wider options for video calling and make it easier to integrate video and screensharing into the daily business workflow.   We here at TelcoBridges use Microsoft Teams and Zoom, making video part of nearly all of our business interactions.  A big change from 5 years ago when video calls were rare.

Final Thoughts – as the calendar changes from 2019 to 2020, it’s a good time to take stock of how telecommunications have changed and will change going forward.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on what to expect this upcoming year and the decade ahead.  Shoot me your thoughts at alan.percy@telcobridges.com

@enterprisecon @transnexus @securelogix @FCC @Fastcompany @atlantechonline @Sdxcentral @zoom_us @vonage @Aircall @ringcentral  @microsoft