Automation necessitates new business methods

Find out what Deutsche Telekom is doing to take advantage of opportunities created by the increasingly global connectivity requirements of the IoT market.

Artificial intelligence, machine to machine learning, the Internet of Things: All contribute to a world where automation will be the norm. They also provide a great opportunity for carriers that are able to work intelligently and foster innovation. Predictions for the IoT market alone estimate growth to 20 billion connected devices within the next five years. To adapt to these changes, operators will need to completely rethink their business. With IoT devices functioning across multiple countries or needing permanent roaming, and regulatory guidelines that may differ from area to area, innovative ways of working will be key to success.

Federico Homberg, head of business development for commercial roaming at Deutsche Telekom, says that business innovation must take place with processes; IT systems should be streamlined and market launches should come more quickly. In order to do so, he believes in outsourcing certain services. This is why Deutsche Telekom has partnered with the company 1NCE, which concentrates on the narrow and low-bandwidth, price-conscious IoT market. Their low-overhead, slim operating model allows offerings at a significantly reduced cost level.

Deutsche Telekom has also created a subsidiary called MobiledgeX, which helps build next-generation mobile edge applications and services. Edge computing is another area that is up-and-coming, as the industry moves toward 5G and the enablement of ultra-low latency communication – which is crucial to services such as augmented and virtual reality.

Looking to the future, Homburg foresees APIs that will enable seamless services across multiple countries, support transparency and thereby allow customers to serve themselves. To automate processes and cut fraud, Homburg looks forward to blockchain technology, while acknowledging the need for an industry-wide solution to determine protocols.

Another coming technology area will be IoT for connected cars, where stable connectivity while roaming will be crucial. Johannes Opitz, VP of Commercial Roaming at Deutsche Telekom believes that such services will necessitate collaboration between carriers and might even require specific quality classifications. To prepare for an uncharted future and provide added benefits to its customers, the DT Group is examining ways to best organize its wholesale business while boosting innovation and agility.

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