Artificial intelligence (AI) is more powerful and affordable than ever, and the leading consumer-facing AI platforms – Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – are in an arms race to bring the technology to smartphones. AI will radically change the way people use smartphones, but what are the implications for data traffic and consumer expectations, and what role should telcos play in this evolution?
(Re)Connecting with Consumers
The music industry was one of the first sectors to be fundamentally disrupted by the Internet. Facing an epic and almost existential battle with piracy, coupled with expectations that music should be free, the record labels have tested many different business and distribution models. With sales of recorded music finally growing again, telcos and their partners can learn a lot from the music industry’s hits and misses.
Blockchain has attracted a lot of hype, but what is it actually useful for? In this report, we discuss blockchain’s strengths and weaknesses as a tool to solve business problems. The report identifies seven high potential use-cases where telcos could use blockchain to cut costs and support new services, and outlines which are most likely to be implemented first and why.
With iPhone sales apparently peaking, Apple is looking to double its revenue from services over the next four years to approximately US$50 billion, taking it deeper into adjacent markets, such as entertainment, financial services and communications. However, Apple trails behind Google in developing artificial intelligence and needs to extend the reach of its services to capture more behavioural data. If Apple decides to decouple more of its key services from its hardware, that would have major ramifications for Google, Amazon, Facebook and many of the world’s leading telcos.
To find new revenues, some telcos are competing head-on with the major internet players in the digital communications, content and commerce markets. Although telcos’ track record in digital services is poor, some are gaining traction. AT&T, Axiata, Reliance Jio and Turkcell are each pursuing very different digital services strategies, and we believe these potentially disruptive moves offer valuable lessons for other telcos and their partners.
The rapid growth of Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat and other Internet-based services has prompted some commentators to write off telcos in the consumer communications market. But many mobile operators retain surprisingly large voice and messaging businesses and still have several strategic options. Indeed, there is much telcos can learn from the leading Internet players’ evolving communications propositions and their attempts to integrate them into broad commerce and content platforms. In this report we examine what opportunities still exist for telcos in this strategically important sector.