By Parag Naik
Across the world, we are witnessing a massive transformation in every aspect of our lives owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a drastic change in the way we communicate, work and lead our lives. On the work front, we are facing several scenarios, which are poised to become the new normal. As we move forward, technology will play a crucial role in the way we work, practically revolutionising the space.
As governments begin easing restrictions and businesses start functioning normally, here are some of the top digital communication technology trends that are set to transform the future of work.
- Pacing towards 5G network: As many companies are moving towards a work from home culture despite certain relaxations in most parts of the country, there is an increasing demand for faster and higher bandwidth networks. 5G which is the next generation network designed with “Service Based” architecture offers a superior class of service based on the ‘Slice’ of network. This caters to a particular service type such as IoT, low latency applications such as Tele-Medicine and more, making its adaptation crucial to aid seamless remote working.
- Rise of Virtual conferences: With a focus on maintaining social distancing and minimal contact with humans, companies are opting for webinars and virtual summits. In the new normal, industry is all set to witness an increase in virtual meetings and conferences for announcements, product launches etc. Many video conferencing applications have already witnessed a huge surge in usage in the past few months as employees are connecting with each other virtually. From internal meetings with limited participants, to a full-fledged webinar or conference wherein thousands of people can participate, events will continue to take place online. This new trend is likely to continue for a long time with an aim to maintain social distancing etiquette and ensure everyone’s safety.
- Surge in IoT enabled Solutions: There is a rise in demand for smart devices across the country owing to factors such as enhanced lifestyles and the need to stay connected virtually. There is also a growing need for smart products that can be controlled through voice commands or remote commands for minimal physical contact. From remote monitoring of patients in hospitals to remotely operating the equipment in a factory, IoT adoption is likely to get a major boost in the changed world post COVID world.
- E-Commerce is the king – There is a huge surge in online shopping for household items, apparels and books. And with it comes a big demand for online or mobile payment solutions and services. People have started to use more online banking services and other online financial services such as investments. Overall, there will be more online financial transactions and commerce that will take place in the post COVID era. These changes will force a more rapid adoption of communication infrastructure spend in rural and unconnected areas, with the use of technology such as VSAT terminals, UHF frequency based rural wireless broadband solutions, Wi-Fi etc.
- Use of Shared Spectrum: It is a given fact that there is going to be an upsurge in content being consumed on mobile devices in a post COVID-19 world. This is particularly seen in the use video conferencing platforms for team meetings, attending lectures online, or watching video for leisure and entertainment. Prior to the pandemic hitting the country, video occupied over 70% of the content transmitted over mobile networks. This phenomenon is bound to increase exponentially and might overload mobile networks that have not been designed to handle huge amount data being consumed. This causes the mobile networks to jam and slows down streaming and downloads on devices. To avert network jamming and create a superior user experience, communication companies will use “Shared” spectrum. There are various types of shared spectrum options available. Dynamic shared spectrum such as TVWS, CBRS give additional coverage and have the capacity to provide connectivity to the unconnected population. Sharing of spectrum amid two diverse networks- such as Broadband and Broadcast networks can be a possibility. Through the use of 5G broadcast, which is a convergence of the two spectrums and a 5th generation data transmission innovation, users can enjoy hassle free video consumption, for increased productivity.
- Communication via Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Communication solutions such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) are crucial for the future. Whether it is for learning to steer the traffic using most efficient path or to dynamically adjust the network parameters to provide most optimal user experience in a given region, AI/ML will become integral part of communication networks. For example – When wireless networks are using shared spectrum, AI/ML systems will uninterruptedly monitor the load on various networks. Basis the data type, network load and number of users the AI/ML systems can support networks with a choice to select the utmost optimal parameters to distribute content. These systems will help enhance user experiences significantly.
With swift progress the development of innovative technologies, corporate India definitely has much to look forward to as digital technology is set to transform our lives in a post COVID-19 world.
(The author is Mr. Parag Naik, Co-Founder and CEO, Saankhya Labs and the views expressed in this article are his own)