Transformation of telecommunication technology & business

Many of you don’t know what is the meaning of word futurist. A futurist is somebody who is looking forward to the next five to ten years and then working backward to reinvent what people do.

In this article we will be as a futurist and we will answer the key question. “What is going to happen in the next five to ten years that will help telecom company to reinvent their business today?” And to answer this question we need to consider one thing is for certain of course the risk will increase.

That’s probably not new to most of telecom companies and operators, but giving that everything in technology is now expanding, faster and bigger. Some of the things being seen every single day looks like science fiction movies but it is real now. For example, “real time translation” you can use an app call “say hi: it is a 2-dollar app and it is a powerful app”, you can speak in a real time and you have 24 languages in real time and the other way around. This is true science fiction.

One day I was in Japan ordering sushi, I was speaking in Arabic and the waitress heard it in Japanese. She was speaking in Japanese and I heard it in Arabic in real time!

When I was in the university in the nineties there was a big discussion about the music is going to be moved to cloud and music will just be a click away. Some people said it might be true, but we don’t like it. They don’t like the idea of technology of doing this, so today what we have, “We have 71 per cent decline in music revenue because of cloud technology!” We have rapid digital transformation on all sectors of society worldwide really, and you can see it in developing countries are taking the lead in some of these changes and some of the business models are perfectly suited for developing rather than developed countries.

Another example of transformation, today if you have a book store people will come to the bookstore and look at the book, they will scan the code with their mobile and they will go to amazon store which is three times cheaper than the bookstore. Nowadays, if you go to some restaurants, the waitress has been replaced by an iPad, which is a shortcut. The process reduces half of your operational cost.

Rapid transformation started with the original worldwide web in 1984, now there is a major driver of change called 'Big Data'. It is basically that today we have a huge growth of data and we are using only 0.04 per cent of this intelligent of data. Google, Facebook, Amazon etc are those companies essentially like an oil company for data. I heard this before in 2006, data is a big oil or new oil and that is true now. The data economy will be more then fossil fuel economy in seven years, connecting cars, traffic, transportation, logistics it is like wrist watches. Connecting everything with everyone.


Saleh al Khaldi


The writer is a chief technical officer (Telecom Engineer) with Connect Arabia International

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