Industry Blog

Join AT&T, Telefonica and an all-star panel to discover the trends that will shape mobile data in 2021

Time to read: 2 minutes

As leading innovators for mobile operators, we brought together the greatest minds in the industry to discover the upcoming trends. Our Mobile Data Trends 2021 event will take place on January 26 and feature a cross-section of experts from industry-leading companies and thought leaders including AT&T, Telefonica, RootMetrics, Tutela, Analysys Mason, Strategy Analytics and ABI Research.

The pandemic has provided no shortage of challenges, but it’s also pushed the telecommunications industry outside of its comfort zone in a way that has seen it rise to every single one. Almost overnight, operators were greeted with the prospect of having to facilitate “7-day weekend traffic” as millions around the world went into lockdown. Not only were people working from home, they had also shifted their entire social lives online and begun streaming video content at unprecedented levels. Cloud gaming has experienced a five-fold increase in the past year alone. It’s a lot to deal with. Throw blinding encryption protocols and a re-focused 5G core into the mix, and we’ve got the recipe for a very interesting and challenging 2021.

Some of the major trends that will be discussed include:

The COVID Effect

Traffic spikes used to be predictable and largely confined to weekends, but the fallout from the pandemic has turned this completely on its head. Operators now face a new traffic phenomenon in the form of the “7-day weekend” and with the true end of the pandemic not yet in sight, it’s unclear just how permanent this demand for data will be. Traffic has gone up in suburban areas across the board while traffic in the usual business districts dwindles by comparison. With many businesses seeing the benefits of agile working, and employees feeling empowered to make their own decisions on home working, could this change be permanent?

Blinding Encryption

If 2021 wasn’t looking complicated enough, new OTT encryption protocols are being added into the mix without the standard even being agreed. More than 85% of all traffic on mobile networks is currently encrypted and operators still lean heavily on traditional optimisation technology to get by. That’s all about to change as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) will introduce new protocols in the shape of DoH (DNS over HTTPS), DoT (DNS over TLS) and eSNI (encrypted Server Name Indication).

Refocused 5G priorities

When governments around the world started advising businesses to adapt to remote working, priorities shifted. Companies that might have been pursuing digital transformation at a slow and steady pace were suddenly scrambling to move their operations online. Naturally, this has led to an unprecedented increase in the number of devices coming online, and the additional data traffic that will incur is going to need effective management. Are we likely to see operators invest more in SA and NSA 5G infrastructure?

 

The Mobile Data Trends 2021 event is scheduled to take place online on 26 January at 8am Pacific, 5pm CET, 8:30pm India. Register today. All registered mobile operators will receive a copy of the exclusive eBook, ‘8 Trends That Will Shape Mobile Data in 2021’ free of charge.