2020: Many Curves Ahead

It’s winter. You’re driving along in your car. Enjoying as much as you can the chill in the air. Then suddenly you’re going down-hill, The brakes start to fail and you just saw the sign stating curvy road ahead. If you had to describe 2020, perhaps many would say it reminds them of this kind of helpless feeling they get when they lose control of a situation.

From the very beginning, the year started out tragically with the bush fires across Australia, so soon to be overshadowed by the emergence of COVID-19 bringing us personal tragedies, lockdowns and closed borders. Travel restrictions have not only impacted tourism, but many types of business operations and that’s without considering the long term effects of the world’s economy, and particularly, the telecom industry. This is exemplified by the postponement of high-ticket events or the massive decline in roaming revenues. Also, if the scenario was not challenging enough, the existing networks have been put into further strain due to the rise of connectivity demands as well as the change in consumer habits.

The Show Must Go On (even from your own home) 

In such a special year of curves and down-hill surprises, ROCCO has proven to be a resilient company that is ready to face challenges in an ever-changing scenario. Take this for example, for May we were planning to have an event in Seville which would have been a forum for the discussion of hot topics in our industry. Due to our enthusiasm, we decided not to cancel Genesis but to adapt it into a virtual format. We are proud to say that the event overcame our expectations, as we delivered an engaging experience in which we shared the results of important reports such as the ROCCO IOO, The Innovators or the A2P SMS Benchmarking studies. In the case of ROCCO IOO, we can humbly state that we have provided a special piece of research that represents a milestone in telecoms. This report has gone an extra step by addressing issues in the industry that were only timidly mentioned before. All in all, the findings of our report show that regardless of position, location, ethnicity or gender, the telecoms industry is full of talented people. The results are also a reminder for pushing harder to give a voice to the people who are often overlooked in our industry.

As our catalogue shows, ROCCO has released several reports that cover a wide range of topics relevant to the industry. For instance, the Roaming Blockchain report covers the potential benefits that operators can get from adopting this multi-purpose technology into the roaming settlement process. With regards to cybersecurity, ROCCO released the SMS Firewall and the Signalling Firewall reports. In these two issues, we have addressed the importance of getting the right provider as security concerns are increasing over time, particularly, in a COVID-19 context. Our contribution as a research company would be incomplete if we did not address innovation trends in a fast-paced environment like telecoms. In this regard, The Innovators report features the top 50 vendors in telecoms as well as the main issues highlighted by MNOs that need to be tackled. We have also covered messaging, which is undoubtedly one of the most popular topics within our industry. The A2P SMS reports for MNOs and enterprises cover key insights regarding this ubiquitous messaging solution. Although much can be said about A2P SMS, there is one thing clear, which is that its strong success is primarily due to its inherent versatility.

Reacting to the New Normal

Now that summer is here, The road seems more straight and reliable. The birds are singing and even if the future is not clear we are optimistic that we are on the right path. We are starting to hear optimistic news about innovative efforts that are being carried out worldwide and that will certainly contribute to fighting this pandemic. In a nutshell, this is a reminder that innovation should be the guiding principle for any endeavour. Being innovative and resilient is part of our mission and, as a proof of that, we have refreshed our report catalogue as well as launched ROCCO U. From A2P SMS to Roaming Strategy or IOT Negotiations, the ROCCO U e-learning platform covers a wide range of topics catered to different levels of expertise.

Our aim is two-fold since we want to create something different in our industry that also provides an added value that empowers people in telecoms. We also believe that education is a good way of reinforcing the existing ties of the worldwide community we are part of. For the rest of the year, we will continue publishing reports that go in line with the current developments in our industry. For instance, eSIM has become a buzzword due to its potential capability of transforming roaming in the way we know it today. CPaaS is also expected to be another disruptive technology as it can revolutionise how companies interact with customers by providing a more customised experience. These two projects, as well as the rest of the upcoming reports, exemplify our strong commitment to the analysis of innovation and the direction our industry is taking.

Balancing Act

To recap, 2020 has been so far a very special year for both the industry and our company since we are facing new scenarios that push for further digitalisation. Regardless of the circumstances, our stance has not changed, as we believe in providing independent research that provides key insights for our customers and keeps their path ahead clear and reliable. This is of particular importance in a year where we still have potentially many curves in the road ahead of us.

Written by Antonio Rodriguez, ROCCO Research Lead Researcher.