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Predictions for the Carrier Ecosystem in 2018

It has been a year of change. 2017 was the “Year of Transformation” in telecoms. Our industry is in the greatest period of disruption we’ve ever seen.

The international Carrier ecosystem has grown in scope with new technologies, services and models shaping the future of the industry. Transformation is now a reality with Carriers around the world adapting their business and service offerings as a result. Carriers are starting to take transformation seriously and are looking for ways to enable transformation in their businesses and across the ecosystem.

It has been a truly exciting year for i3forum. Like the industry, we are continually transforming and growing. 2017 has shown that we have the people, processes and the platform to solve important challenges.

We have several active work groups that are collaborating on challenges related to Fraud, IoT, NFV and others to help enable industrywide transformation. Our members and non-members have both benefitted from our work and have truly showed the value of our organization.

We see 2018 as the year of working together to make a positive and lasting impact on the future of the telecommunications industry.

Here are our 6 predications for 2018:

1. Accelerating Transformation – The industry has acknowledged that transformation needs to happen in Carrier businesses. We must adopt Digital Transformation sooner rather than later in order to adapt and grow to customer demand and leverage new technologies. A platform based economy with “as-a-Service” models can really change the industry. Carriers have realized that legacy services can sit inside cohesive, integrated and interconnected platforms.

2. Unlocking Potential with APIs – APIs are the key to unlocking the potential of Cloud, network and application providers. They make deployments and procurement friction-free. We need Carrier collaboration based on APIs, development and sharing of APIs between Carriers. This means new platforms and models can be created and used in new ways, driving innovation across the entire ICT ecosystem.

3. Collaborating to Fight Voice Fraud – The Voice market will become increasingly challenging as revenues from traditional services decline, but the overall Voice ecosystem continues to grow. This means that in 2018 fraud is absolutely critical. To ensure this, there needs to be industrywide collaboration like we’ve seen with the Global Leaders Forum.

4. Shaping Business Communications with UC – In 2018, the deployment of Unified Communications solutions in the Cloud is only going to accelerate. We will see the growth and adoption of global Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offerings and a greater need for interconnection and interoperability so Carriers can leverage each other’s footprint and capabilities.

5. Growing Challenges in the Internet of Things – The Internet of Things (IoT) has almost limitless potential. As IoT matures, international Carriers can play an increasing role in supporting its growth and development. The emergence of global IoT platforms and services will give the international Carrier ecosystem new opportunities but some new challenges as well.

6. Accelerating 5G – According to Gartner, 75% of end-user organizations would be willing to pay more for 5G mobile capabilities. Although users want it, there’s still plenty of work to be done in 5G. Throughout 2018, there will be a lot of announcements about 5G but it will need a lot of industrywide agreement to get it off the ground.


None of these developments will become a reality unless we can work together. With the foundation we’ve built, i3forum members can collaborate to solve new challenges facing our industry in 2018, and enable and accelerate transformation.

At i3forum, our members are empowered by a shared purpose. By working together, we are shaping the future of the industry.

Get in touch and find out how to join us here: