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CXO Insight

FutureNet Asia, M1 Speaker Interview

Nathan Bell, Chief Digital Officer, M1, is speaking on Opening CxO Keynote Panel at FutureNet Asia on 27th October. We recently caught up with Nathan to get his thoughts on The Network of the Future and the Future Telco.

How do you see customers’ needs changing and over what time period?

Customers’ communication and data needs will evolve in the same way their digital consumption has evolved. What I mean is that it’s all about lowering my spend but having the option to leverage higher-value services such as lower latency when I need it for gaming, Virtual reality or other future defined services. Some of these aspects are already available but it will be about immediacy, as in I want to consume something, I don’t want to have to wait as I may not want it later, in fact I may want something else. This is similar to our consumption of new apps or content, if we can’t use it when we want to then we are likely to delete or forget about it altogether

Will automation and intelligence live up to their potential and meet those needs?

Automation will be critical in this aspect, there must be an ability for the digital platform to capture the customer request, validate any payment or security concerns, and then immediately activate the incremental service. Intelligence will be critical to analyze the short term service requests from customers and provide recommendations on future traffic shaping and where upgrades are to be likely by when based on predefined rules.

Where will the real revenue growth come from for operators?

Well that’s the holy grail isn’t it? How revenue is defined will ultimately depend on what value we can help individual customers and businesses with as this will determine the real revenue outcome. The opportunity lies in being able to aid businesses with matching their own elasticity needs facing events like the current global pandemic, financial crisis, or natural disasters having an increasingly global impact businesses in particular face the greatest challenge. Businesses need to be able to adapt to their environmental, market and business demands whether that is shifting from office working to remote working, operating at scale to being able to reduce capacity and scale only when demand validates the same or shaping the network from supporting applications to supporting large scale video for conferences. Some of this is possible today but bringing this to life across fixed and mobile networks with no human intervention and teams focusing on strategic planning and preventative fixing will represent a big change in the future.

How much will open networking, programmability and disaggregation change the game for telcos?

I can’t talk to the principle of Open Networking as Telecom providers have significant responsibilities to meet for their customers and various government organisations hence I would suggest this is likely a big conversation on its own. I would say though, one game changer I do see is AI centred on networks. The real key will be being able to leverage network systems that can learn, assess, adapt and recommend to the dynamic requirements from customers.

To hear more insight from Nathan, join the event and register here