The Future of Communications

In 2019, neXt Curve was selected among leading research and consulting firms from around the globe to provide research for Ofcom’s technology horizon study which is conducted every decade. Our report served as a key input into the Technology Futures report that was published in January 14, 2021. neXt Cure was tasked to articulate the key technology trends and dynamics that would shape the future of the communications industry which included the UK postal and broadcast services.

The outcome of our study was a technology horizon scan framework that was recommends to the Ofcom research team as a guide for the scoping and organization of their research program. The recommended framework identifies Four Knowns which are mega trends that are or continue to have an outweighed influence on the evolution of the communications industry.

  • Cyberphysical Experiences – The transition from multimedia communications of today to the conveyance of cyber physical experiences. (Retrospective Update: Metaverse & Digital Twins)
  • Everything will Communication – The realization of things, spaces, people, services, and content connected in accordance to the notion of the Internet of Everything.
  • Industry Change from the Top and the Bottom – The trend of OTT players or non-traditional operators, systems integrators and technology firms disrupting the industry landscape by capturing share and influence in frontier markets as the nature of communications evolves over the decade challenging traditional operators and ICT vendors. We described this trend as Under the Bottom or UTB.
  • Trust will be Challenged – Beyond security and privacy, the concept and foundations of trust will be challenged and compromised as social networking and communications technologies democratize media.
Source: neXt Curve

While we explored hundreds of specific technologies that could have transformative impact on the evolution of communications, we recommended six foundational technology domains and ten applied technology themes for further investigation which we detailed in the full report.

The executive summary of our study is provided below.