Angela Logothetis, CTO of Amdocs Open Network

Innovation in spectrum will enable the rise of new 5G players

As incumbent mobile service providers move to 5G, they will need more – and a broader range – of spectrum ranging from low to high band. In 2020, we will see innovation in spectrum to deal with this demand. Expect to see billions of dollars spent in spectrum auctions, as operators learn where and how to best use the likes of mmwave to deploy technologies that increase efficiency and support “re-farmed” spectrum.

5G will also see new, disruptive players entering the market in smart cities, IoT devices and private networks. All these new players will also require spectrum, driving innovation in regulation and allocation. Multiple countries, including the USA, Japan, Germany and the UK are already regulating bands of spectrums to be available through shared and priority access, and to be dedicated to enterprise applications. But in 2020, as 5G begins to takes hold, this will encourage innovation, disruption, and competition in that market. Traditional CSPs will evolve to open cloud networks, network sharing, network slicing and new spectrum to attain the cost structures, agility and innovation to compete in 5G.

Operators will start to automate the networks of today in preparation for the networks of the future

With CSPs under increasing pressure to reduce costs, increase agility and manage the increasing size and complexity of the network, they’ll take a much closer look at automation in 2020. We’ll see incumbent operators evolve from robotic process automation to the next step in the journey – human-guided automation. We’ll also see the first use cases for automated operations of hybrid networks and closed-loop automation of virtualized networks. Market leaders will explore AI and machine learning use cases to build the insights needed for the autonomous networks of the future.

Automation is not only a technology change, but an organizational and learning one as well. As a result, we’ll see workers further move from repetitive and reactive roles to more creative and complex activities.