In 2024, expect noteworthy changes in the telecom sector driven by technologies and potential threats. In the upcoming 12 months, MNOs (mobile network operators) will encounter opportunities to implement advanced solutions while also dealing with challenges to safeguard their profits from fraudulent activities. The landscape is becoming more diverse, marked by constant change.
The rollout of 5G is picking up speed, and Apple plans to collaborate with other operating systems to develop rich communications services (RCS). Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) is taking on a more significant role in optimising networks and introducing new services. Messaging and Voice are also growing, especially with the rise of Omni-channel communications as a necessity for enterprises.
MNOs will explore these opportunities in 2024 and strengthen their security measures, recognising that potential threats can be as resourceful as any legitimate organisation.
This blog highlights critical trends shaping the telecom sector in 2024 and offers insights into how MNOs can seize these increasing opportunities.
- Quick AI Integration
AI will revolutionise services and operations in the telecom industry. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) increasingly integrate AI-driven networking solutions to optimise bandwidth usage, balance network loads, and increase anti-fraud measures. Predictive network management will empower MNOs to guarantee maximum uptime beyond conventional ‘best effort’ service delivery for enterprises and consumers. Identifying and blocking voice and messaging fraud patterns will increase MNO profitability. Moreover, AI will expand in Omni-channel communications, with MNOs incorporating AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants to offer customers personalised experiences.
- Escalating Artificial Inflated Traffic
According to a CFCA report, telecom companies suffer billions in annual revenue losses due to fraud. Artificially Inflated Traffic (AIT), a form of Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS fraud, contributes significantly to these losses and poses an ongoing challenge for MNOs in 2024. AIT manifests in various forms, where fraudsters illicitly generate false traffic to gain profits. This involves bots requesting two-factor authentication (2FA) codes and one-time passwords (OTPs) or initiating call backs to premium rates or ghost numbers. The repetition of this process across thousands of numbers can result in millions of dollars in losses, affecting reputation, revenue and trust. To lessen these challenges, MNOs must efficiently monitor, assess, and block risks established on behaviours and number ranges.
- 2024, Year of RCS
In November 2023, Apple announced the RCS support for iPhones, signalling a quick shift. This move towards better compatibility means Apple is no longer sticking to its separate system. TechCrunch reports that RCS has already reached millions of users globally, and with Apple’s involvement, it extends to more than 1.46 billion active iPhone users globally. Over the years, RCS has found various use cases, and The Mobile Ecosystem Forum has highlighted plenty of opportunities for its deployment. MNOs now have a solid reason to offer RCS with Apple on board. RCS is finally set to have a standout year in 2024.MNOs now have a solid motivation to offer RCS with Apple on board. RCS is finally set to have a standout year in 2024.
- Enhancing Efficiency in Local SMS Traffic
Managing domestic A2P, P2A, and P2P SMS traffic has become increasingly complicated with the growing dependence on mobile devices. Mobile Network Operators face considerable challenges in monitoring and categorising these extensive traffic volumes. In 2024, we anticipate witnessing a rise in MNOs dedicating their effort and time to streamline their local traffic management through collaborations with skilled SMS aggregators. Consequently, MNOs can conduct more streamlined operations, enhance resource utilization and pricing models, and strengthen security measures to maximize the potential of their networks.
- OTTs Set to Boost CPaaS Adoption
Over the next 12 months, we expect Over-the-Top (OTT) messaging platforms to grow. At present, at least one form of OTT messaging is being used by nearly 3 billion individuals, with popular choices such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Viber. Although the growth of OTT raises concerns about potential declines in MNOs’ SMS revenues, given the increasing preference for OTT messaging apps, there exists a chance for MNOs to adapt and capitalize on this shift. MNOs can seize this opportunity by offering CPaaS solutions to enterprise customers, thereby tapping into added revenue streams from OTT messages and A2P SMS.
MNOs that aim for success in the coming 12 months will redefine their strategies for Voice and messaging while actively safeguarding their profits. The ongoing changes in Voice and messaging offer new opportunities for enterprises to fulfil their needs and explore different paths for growth. The current state of the telecom sector, marked by solid infrastructure and high network performance, signifies an unprecedented era. These factors collectively create an environment where MNOs can compete successfully based on efficiency, agility, and innovation, eventually driving a transformation in the telecom sector throughout 2024.