By: Wael Mohammed, Executive Vice President of Product for Field Nation
The pandemic put the telecom industry front and center as almost every human interaction moved online. In 2022, the industry will continue to be at the heart of digital disruption. But ongoing challenges will persist. Check out our predictions around 4 key telecom trends and their effects on field service.
1. The margin squeeze will continue
While VoIP adoption is growing, annualized revenue from US VoIP businesses is declining. US VoIP revenue decreased by 1.9 percent from 2015 to 2020, according to IBISWorld. Fewer people are working from offices where VoIP phones are used. This could result in further declines in the coming years.
With flat or declining revenues, telecom businesses will continue to face margin pressure. By using an on-demand workforce, companies can support growth opportunities without capital investment. Moving from a fixed to a variable labor model can help companies protect their margins.
Service contracts are more important than ever for preserving revenue and margin. On-demand labor is ideal for supporting service contracts. This is because having exclusively full-time workers on-call for emergency repair and troubleshooting is costly.
Further, using on-demand labor in geographies without full-time staff can reduce travel expenses. With on-demand labor, companies can be confident in having coverage when and where they need it while keeping travel costs in check.
2. Wi-Fi 6 installs present opportunities
Introduced in 2019, Wi-Fi 6 is a new generation of wireless network technology that allows routers to simultaneously interact with a number of devices. Plus, it’s up to four times faster than what businesses currently use, with four times the capacity.
Ideal for VoIP and mobile devices, Wi-Fi 6 installations require hardware (rather than software) upgrades. As businesses modernize their networks, they should prepare to dispatch additional field technicians to swap outdated hardware for Wi-Fi 6 routers. On-demand labor can help meet this surge in on-site service demand.
3. Replacement of copper networks will accelerate
Businesses continue to phase out copper-based telecom services in favor of fiber-based networks. While many businesses have had copper lines for years, these lines will be harder to maintain as monthly rates continue going up.
With the sunset of copper, plain old telephone service (POTS) phones will no longer work. Experienced technicians can install VoIP phones and/or analog adapters so traditional landlines can function.
4. Telecom will continue to converge with IT
For years, the industry has discussed the convergence of telecom with the IT channel. It looks like this prediction may finally come true.
During the pandemic, smart telecom companies started offering IT services to remain competitive. They enabled video conferencing and remote work in a world where desktop VoIP phones were not nearly as relevant as they once were.
Contingent labor platforms allow telecom companies to add IT service capabilities without hiring extra field staff. Many master agents and telecom providers already sell and support IT hardware. So many of these businesses are adding IT services to their existing offerings.