The connectivity landscape is evolving is quickly as the desire for telcos to diversify revenues, so it makes perfect sense the worlds’ standards authority does as well.
Speaking to Luis Jorge Romero, Director General of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, or ETSI as its more commonly known, the mission statement is shifting. Traditionally, ETSI has focused on taking care of the telcos, but Romero is broadening his embrace to bring enterprise customers and technology leaders into the equation.
“They need connectivity, so they have to brought into the equation for the standards,” said Romero. “They are the ones who know the issues and want to have a solution. They can translate the problem into what we understand.”
As it stands, any telco which exclusively focuses on traditional connectivity services and products will struggle to survive in tomorrow’s digital world. Such is the financial demands of 5G, telcos will have to source new revenues to build the ROI and provide fuel for future expansion and upgrades.
Romero highlighted that it was critical not only to ensure the telco industry is supported in this time of rapid change, but the voices of the enterprise organizations and more specialist technology providers are heard as well. If the telcos are going to work more closely with industry, vertical specific applications will need to be developed. The Asian telcos have been incredibly proactive developing these usecases, though Europe and US have been sluggish.
And of course, every step forward has to be standardized to ensure a healthy and sustainable industry.
At ETSI, this translates into two different types of working groups; those at a high-level which are designed for the telcos themselves, and secondly, more drilled down, vertical specific applications. Romero pointed towards the creation of an open data platform to help the marine industry track assets throughout the world, also the participation of agricultural giant John Deere in IOT working groups, as two excellent examples of this evolution.
To bridge the gap between connectivity and the verticals, both segments need to be sitting down in the same room. Everyone realises this, and ETSI is taking an important step forward to facilitate progress.