Opensignal, a mobile analytics company on Monday said that the mobile operators across the world will put a “greater thought on where to build mobile base stations” in the upcoming years. The company in a report released on Monday made its predictions on “The Mobile Future” for 2021 and beyond. Opensignal highlighted that 2020 witnessed “changes in the locations and nature of mobile usage across many countries including India” along with the “changes in mobile data consumption levels” due to the pandemic. With the changes felt across multiple fronts inside the telecom ecosystem including the shift in the location of mobile usage, Opensignal said that the operators will “look at how to manage capacity more dynamically.”
Telecom Network Models to be Re-Evaluated from 2021
The mobile analytics company in late July, 2020, said in a report that the mobile users in the Tier 2 cities in India “were the most affected during the lockdown.” Opensignal also highlighted that the mobile networks in urban areas recovered quickly post the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions due to multiple reasons including migration of workers from cities to their hometowns. The company said that the migration of workers would mean that the users “may be spending more time in parts of the country where operators originally may have not designed network infrastructure to manage large traffic loads.”
“As lockdowns ease, operators will look at how to manage capacity more dynamically, for example between downtown areas and residential suburbs, and be more nimble to future changes in the pattern of mobile usage,” Opensignal said in a report on Monday.
Crucially, Opensignal said that the “business case for building ultra dense 5G networks with small cells” in areas such as city centres will be “re-evaluated” if users spend less time there in the future.
“New 5G cloud core network techniques will be adopted to maximize flexibility,” Opensignal said in the report.
Poor Network Experience will Urge Users to Change Operators Than Price
Meanwhile, the mobile analytics company said that the “weak mobile experience is more important” to be a deciding factor than mobile tariffs in causing users to switch operators in the upcoming year.
“With so many people having relied more on telecom services this year,” Opensignal said in its report. “In 2021, Opensignal predicts that mobile experience will be the most important catalyst for smartphone users to decide if they want to change mobile operators.”
Further, Opensignal said that the mobile operators with 5G services will use group video communication to increase 5G uptake. The company also said that the video chat applications along with increase in video consumption under 5G will result in increased data usage.
“Mobile video chat existed before COVID, but the experience of 2020 has pushed group video communication into the mainstream,” Opensignal said in its report. “With more video participants, there is greater pressure on the capacity of the mobile network, more data traffic and a more demanding experience.”
The mobile analytics company also said that many operators will launch 5G services in 2021 and that these operators will “invest in network infrastructure that is shared by 5G and older mobile technologies.”
“This better onward connectivity will boost the experience for 4G users too,” Opensignal said in its report. “This will make the difference between the initial 5G experience, and the 4G experience, seem narrower.”