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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

Report: Cloud spending in telecom industry to exceed $200 billion by 2028

Get ready for a cloud boom in the telecom industry! A new study predicts telecom operators will shell out over $200 billion globally in their quest to handle exploding network traffic. Juniper Research says telcos will invest $26 billion in cloud services this year, with that number skyrocketing to $65 billion by 2028. The culprit? Our ever-growing hunger for data.

The report points to 5G networks and the looming arrival of "cloud-native 6G" as key drivers, expecting cellular data usage to jump a whopping 110% by 2028. "Think automated factories and car entertainment systems," says the report, highlighting the rise of data-hungry "Internet of Things" (IoT) applications.

The number of 5G connections is also expected to surge, with Juniper predicting a 172% increase from 2.2 billion in 2024 to a staggering 5.9 billion by 2028. It’s the need for the efficient management of this data deluge that will push operators towards the cloud. The report estimates that over half (52%) of cellular data will be handled by cloud systems by 2028.

However, this data boom could also lead to higher costs. The report warns that the total cost of running cellular networks is directly affected by data volume. Juniper forecasts a 177% increase in data traffic over the next four years, potentially pushing up operational expenses.

This is where "Telecommunications Cloud" comes in. Researchers believe this cost-saving technology will allow operators to distribute network resources more efficiently.

The report also revealed that this cloud focus will also help telcos meet sustainability goals. Despite “improvements” in energy efficiency, the telco industry still accounted for a significant amount of energy consumption (2-3% globally in 2023). Cloud-based power management systems offer a path to greater efficiency.

The report emphasizes leveraging tools like the "Kubernetes Power Management Operator" to optimize energy use within cloud environments.

“A key area operators must focus on is the Kubernetes Power Management Operator, which offers power management and energy optimization capabilities for Kubernetes nodes,” the report said.

Machine learning (ML) is another weapon in the sustainability arsenal. ML can automate network management and reduce power consumption based on real-time user demand. "Networks are getting complex," says report author Alex Webb. "ML automation is key, but operators need to prioritize mission-critical traffic to ensure service quality."


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