Whilst facing the effects of political unrest, military conflicts and the UK’s biggest cost-of-living hike in more than four decades, the telco industry managed to remain competitive in 2023.

We saw the continued rollout of 5G connectivity (with around 600 million new subscriptions added globally), incredible growth in internet of things (IoT) technologies and increased fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband availability ahead of the ISDN/PSTN switch-off. Not bad, we reckon.

But if 2023 has taught us anything, it’s that adaptability is key for telcos that don’t want to get left in the dust. In order to lead the charge in 2024, companies must make it their mission to keep up with the relentless evolution of technology that’s reshaping our world.

Although we don’t have a crystal ball (it would be nice, though), here are five trends and changes we expect to see in the coming months…

1. 2025 switch-off

We’re just a year away from the looming ISDN/PSTN switch-off, which can only mean one thing: a new dawn of communication is coming.

Since September 2023, businesses have no longer been able to install or add lines to existing Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN) and Public Switch Telephone Networks (PSTN) — and in December 2025, these services will be completely switched off and replaced by IP technology.

Any businesses still using analogue or ISDN phone number services need to migrate over to VoIP or SIP instead — and it’s up to telcos to ensure they’re ready.

As a result, telecommunications companies may want to bolster their SoGEA and FTTP services. SoGEA is the next step towards FTTP — and is available wherever Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) has been rolled out (available in around 95% of premises in the UK).

2. Hybrid cloud

The shift to cloud communications has been one of the most significant telco trends of the past few years, with many businesses embracing the benefits cloud solutions can offer. 

From unlimited scalability and increased flexibility to improved security and savvy multi-channel integration, cloud communication has the potential for innovation and new capabilities — especially for businesses that rely on telecommunications to conduct their business. 

But instead of committing a whole organisation to the cloud, 2024 may have a solution: the hybrid cloud.

Offering the benefits of both public and private clouds, the hybrid cloud is perfect for any SMEs hesitant to make the complete switch to cloud communications. For telcos looking to lead the charge, adding hybrid cloud services to their portfolio is a no-brainer (of course, some of us are already on it).

3. Generative artificial intelligence (AI)

Generative AI was the hottest topic in 2023. We all marvelled over its ability to generate humanlike written content, create new images — and even write complex code. But how can this trending technology revolutionise telcos this year?

The answer lies in AI-assisted customer service.

With more than half of consumers willing to switch to a competitor after just one bad experience, telcos need to invest in first-class customer experience if they want to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive industry.

By integrating generative AI into their customer service channels, telcos can provide automated, round-the-clock support, personalised product recommendations and quick handling of customer inquiries and issues — all whilst reducing wait times and improving customer satisfaction.

4. Machine learning and AI

Not only will those clever AI algorithms help telecommunications companies advance their customer service, but when used with machine learning, this tech could give insights into better service and performance.

The powerful duo has the potential to optimise network traffic by predicting usage patterns and reconfiguring networks to respond to fluctuating demands. This could also create hefty cost savings for telcos, by scaling back availability during non-peak times.

The cherry on top? Combining machine learning and AI can improve the reliability of connectivity by monitoring performance and detecting anomalies. With this information, telcos can begin to perform preventive and predictive maintenance, detect and self-repair network issues and nip fraudulent activity in the bud.

Speaking of which…

5. Cyber security

Cyber security has always been a concern for telcos. But as our national telecommunications networks continue to expand to facilitate 5G and more businesses migrate from traditional phone systems to alternative cloud-based services in preparation for the ISDN/PSTN switch-off, cyber security risks are only growing. 

From cloud threats leading to misconfiguration to the potential for hackers to access sensitive information being shared between internet of things (IoT) devices via private networks, telcos continue to have their work cut out to stay ahead of the problem. 

And the issue of telco fraud shows no signs of slowing down in 2024, either.

Of course, phone scamming isn’t a new phenomenon. But with 40 million UK adults targeted by scammers in the first quarter of 2023 alone — thanks to voice phishing (vishing), voice over IP (VoIP) scams and authorised push payment (APP) scams — it’s more important than ever for businesses to invest in automated solutions that can accurately detect and report caller fraud. 

Are you ready to tackle 2024 head-on — with revolutionised telco solutions to help your customers thrive in an increasingly digital world? Invosys is your sure and steady solution, offering businesses a one-stop shop for all things telecommunications. Contact our team at 0161 444 3333 or email sales@invosys.com for any questions.