The living, breathing network will emerge
We have seen huge advances this year in technologies such as software defined networking and network functions virtualisation, making connectivity more intelligent than ever. But no matter how much automation can be programmed into networks, it's fair to say that they can't actively think for themselves. To offer people and businesses the 'always-best-connected' experience, regardless of device, location, network type or operator, the telecoms industry will start to harness the power of AI. This will be the biggest shift the industry has seen in years: we will start moving away from a fragmented, distributed network matrix to a global, ubiquitous network topology, powered by AI.
Imagine universal connectivity without boundaries that will seamlessly route you to the best possible network, with everyone and everything, always connected, everywhere. We will no longer have to think about whether we are using Wifi, a mobile network, Bluetooth, or one of the many IoT network technologies. It will just work. Ultimately, we won't need a mobile phone, a wearable or any other device to access this connectivity universe - our innumerable applications will become a virtual platform as we interact with them or even put them on our bodies.
Creating a world where all networks and applications work harmoniously together to give people this ubiquitous ultra-connected experience is a task that the telecoms industry should start to tackle together in 2017.