What to monitor in the world in 2018





The following shows the world trends to be monitored in 2018.


  • 5G

After the approval of the specification of the new 5G radio NR (first phase) by 3GPP, series of showcases and the beginning of commercial operations are scheduled 2018. Highlights:

  • The Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea (from February 9th to 25th) may count with the first large-scale 5G network, making possible to test many applications;
  • Large-scale 5G trials will take place in China in 2018;
  • 5G networks will be launched by Verizon in three or five U.S. cities until the end of 2018.  Operation may focus on the offer of fixed broadband using millimeter waves;
  • AT&T will launch 5G mobile service in 12 U.S. markets by the end of 2018.

According to the approved specifications in this first phase 5G will use 4g network core as support. The second phase, which permits the stand-alone deployment without the support of 4G networks, may be concluded in Jun/18.



  • Digital Transformation

Telecom is the basis for the digital transformation society goes through, each time more connected and holding increasing consumption of data in cloud. Operators are also making their digital transformation to face this scenario.


In order to have Software-defined networking (SDN), companies are promoting the virtualization of their networks' functions (NFV) to enable the orchestration of services and the automation of networks. In this process the use of Artificial Intelligence is increasing with machine learning technics. In this context, the highlights are:

  • Transformation process inside the main operators of the world like AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, DT and Telefônica;
  • Adoption of free software by these operators like AT&T's initiative with Linux Foundation to develop Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP);
  • Impact of these transformations in the main vendors of the sector;
  • New services like SDWAN that start to be offered to corporative users;
  • Digital relationship with clients by using Apps and Boots.


  • Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things remain as a hot trend in 2018 and the MWC in Barcelona will be a good opportunity to check what's happening in the world.


On of the key points to massification of IoT solutions is the implementation of LPWA connectivity solutions:

  • NB-IoT (Narrow Band IoT) is moving forward in Europe and LTE Cat-M in the USA;
  • 2018 will be a decisive year for technologies that don't use licensed spectrum like Sigfox and LoRa.

Advances in the commercialization of cars with an increasing level of autonomy is also expected.



  • Video Streaming

Video streaming is changing the entertainment market in the world with TV becoming digital and content being watched in different screens (TVs, Desktops and Smartphones) when and where is more convenient for the user.


This process can be felt more strongly in the USA, where:

  • 57% of the smartphone users watch content monthly through video streaming;
  • More than 50% of the homes having fixed broadband perform streaming of content for TV;
  • The number of Netflix's subscribers is bigger than cable TV's;
  • Subscribers are gradually canceling their pay TV subscription in a process known as Cord Cutting.

In this scenario, the importance of content (that are directly distributed to consumers via streaming) producers increases as what occurs with Netflix. The acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T and 21st Century Fox by Disney confirm this trend.



  • Regulation

Regulation in the world is evolving to a collaborative format. The main themes to be monitored in 2018 involve discussions about:

  • Regulation about network neutrality in the USA;
  • Regulation for companies like Google and Facebook that got great market power. The discussion involves questions such as privacy and purchase of startups that may become competitors.


You could ask:

  • Which theme will be the hottest in the world in 2018?
  • Will 5G smartphones be available in the market in 2018?
  • Will cord cutting process be accelerated in the world in 2018?
  • Are we going to have Artificial Intelligence in smartphones in 2018?



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