1) Improved inventory alignment
The pandemic caused massive disruption to global supply chains. As a result, operators began stockpiling equipment. But with that period of uncertainty now mainly in the rearview, we expect companies to reduce the stock buffers they’ve built up.
This process has already begun and will accelerate as 2024 progresses. This will free up cash flow and refocus operator efforts on adding new subscribers to their ever-expanding networks. This is good news for customers, and it has the potential to reinvigorate the wider industry.
2) Prioritizing solution efficiency
With capital scarce and the cost of investing still high, network operators will harness more efficient technology to help them reduce costs. This means focusing on solutions that maximize available rack space. Operators will also want to sharpen the energy efficiency of equipment, an area where AI-driven software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions can play a crucial role. The multigigabit-capable XGS-PON standard is already helping lower the cost of network deployments and reduce the total cost of ownership. As we move into 2024, more XGS-PON technology will be deployed to help network operators get the most out of their fiber investments.
More XGS-PON technology will be deployed to help network operators get the most out of their fiber investments.A movement towards more streamlined customer care will also accelerate as operators look to equip customer service representatives with more effective means of resolving subscriber issues. Operators can make customer care more efficient using a combination of hardware, such as in-service fiber monitoring devices and intelligent SaaS solutions. Doing this also lowers costs, reduces truck rolls and raises customer satisfaction. Everyone’s a winner.
3) Embracing interoperability
The last trend I want to point to is the growth of interoperability. As the consolidation machine gains momentum across various operator landscapes, particularly in the developed world, operators are seeking to bring disparate networks from different vendors under common control. It’s vital to do this in a way that enables a homogeneous service offering across combined footprints without incurring significant costs. Network automation and more scalable and flexible technologies will be vital to achieving integration effectively. Close collaboration between vendors will also be essential, as will a customer-centric approach.
Setting a course for digital transformation
The key trends of 2024 will help drive digitization across all industries and aspects of daily life. And, of course, there will be other major opportunities for the industry to capitalize on over the coming year. We’ve got Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 enhancing more in-home connections for customers. While this may at first be a technology for early adopters, more people will benefit from it as devices continue to proliferate. These new advanced service delivery gateways will unleash more revenue opportunities for service providers and transform operations.
In the US, federal funding will continue to be released in 2024, and this means more underserved customers can get access to high-quality, full-fiber broadband. To comply with funding stipulations, service providers, large and small, will have to leverage American-made equipment to connect subscribers. This is a boon for domestic suppliers of networking equipment, and it will also create plenty of high-quality jobs.
Here’s to a year of turning challenges into triumphs and setting new benchmarks in connectivity and efficiency.