Preview on 2022: Cybersecurity, fiber and streaming
A look ahead to some of the trends and developments in 2022
We welcomed 2022 with digital fireworks: a record volume of data traffic over 4G & 5G. A good start to the year for the network of the Netherlands. What else is on the agenda in 2022 and what trends does KPN foresee for both consumers and businesses? Here are ten of the most significant developments.
1. Cybersecurity clearly in number 1 position
Technology is now part and parcel of our lives. So secure internet and protection of your data and personal details are becoming increasingly important. At KPN we put cybersecurity at the top of the list in 2022. The final weeks of last year were dominated by perhaps one of the most dangerous vulnerabilities ever discovered: Apache Log4j. The NCSC has warned of considerable potential damage and is therefore advising organizations to prepare for a possible attack. Forewarned is forearmed: if you know what tomorrow’s threats are, you can anticipate them today. The security specialists of KPN Security have identified some other major trends and forecasts.
2. Fiber, fiber and more fiber
We are going to roll out a record quantity of fiber in 2022. Never before have such large investments been made in the digital highways of the Netherlands. Work is proceeding in literally every corner of the country and KPN alone is expecting to connect around half a million households to the network of the future. Additionally, in 2022 the joint venture between KPN and APG will connect tens of thousands of homes, especially in villages. The fiber rollout gives a boost to the digitalization of the Netherlands. For instance, Dutch companies are making increasing use of digital technologies, because our internet is of such an excellent quality. Consequently, the Netherlands remains the European leader.
3. Streaming bundles: we are using an increasing number of streaming services (side by side)
More and more Dutch consumers are combining a variety of streaming services in addition to their internet and TV subscription. These include Netflix, Disney+, Videoland and Amazon Prime Video. And another will be added in 2022: Viaplay with live Formula 1 races. KPN customers can combine their entertainment options economically and an increasing number of people are expected to make use of this. This is due in part to COVID-19 and several periods of lockdown, because people in the Netherlands are spending a lot more time at home. Subscription stacking is being used mainly by young users and families with young children. But there is also a risk of saturation; can we still see the wood for the trees and how many streaming subscriptions do the consumers of 2022 actually want to have?
4. Sustainability is becoming ever more important in the choice of telecom
Consumers consider sustainability an increasingly important topic with respect to telecom, according to a recent customer survey. A little more than half of those interviewed said that sustainability now plays a role in their choice. That is considerably more than two years ago. At KPN sustainability has been high on the agenda for many years, one of the reasons that we have figured among the world’s most sustainable telecom operators for ten years in a row. As an example, we have been running on green power for many years, we are introducing more and more low-energy devices with a circular design, we are using less packaging (which is in any case always recyclable) and we are increasingly replacing hardware in our services with software. And despite the growing data consumption we have been able to reduce the amount of energy we consume. This year we will again make progress in this area, and evidently our customers expect even more of their telecom operator in 2022.
5. The home office is now really going to be revolutionized
Home offices will get more attention in 2022. Now that we know that COVID-19 is going to be around for a long while and that we will be working from home more than we first thought, 2022 will be the year in which the home office reflects this new reality. Research by KPN at the end of last year shows that 70 percent of Dutch employees do not yet have an adequately equipped home office. If we really want hybrid working to be successful, structural changes are needed in the physical working environment at home and at the office, in ICT and in the behavior of management and employees. After all, that's what the success of hybrid working hinges on.
6. Greater collaboration
The proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” contains more than a grain of truth. Collaboration is an important factor in achieving your objective. Whether that objective is combating cybercrime more effectively or ensuring that society benefits optimally from new technology. As telecom operator with the network of the Netherlands our role in the ecosystem is a totally logical one. We experience that every day in our FieldLabs, where we co-create with customers and partners and turn concepts into concrete products or services. Data-driven collaboration is the next step, and we will see more of it in 2022. Although it can be quite complex, it is already happening successfully in the KPN Health Exchange. There information is interchanged securely between a variety of healthcare organizations, resulting in a better patient and healthcare experience at lower cost.
7. Data consumption is still rising and reliability is becoming more important
Total data traffic in terabytes on the fixed KPN network has grown sharply in the past few years. Comparing, for example, the consumption at the end of 2021 with that at the end of 2019, there was around 45% more data traffic on our fixed network and as much as 60% more on our mobile network. The amount of data on our networks will increase once again in 2022. The importance of digital channels is also increasing, making extra demands on the reliability of our networks. In 2022 we expect that more use will be made of business-critical networks. After all, robots, drones and other automated tools have to keep functioning all the time, everywhere and in all circumstances.
8. More gaming via 5G
The KPN network is the fastest 5G network in the Netherlands . However, an even faster 5G, for which the 3.5 GHz frequency band is needed, is unfortunately still some time away. It is also uncertain whether this band can be auctioned this year. Thanks in part to 5G, gaming and e-sports via the mobile network are becoming ever more popular; that will not change in 2022. Subscriptions are now available that support gaming via the cloud and, thanks partly to 5G and fiber, KPN’s network meets the needs of even the most demanding gamers. The partnership with Microsoft enables gaming fans to play more than 100 games via Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta).
9. We say goodbye to 3G
The third-generation mobile network made its appearance at the end of the 1990s and mobile internet became possible. The 3G network paved the way for the smartphone; the real breakthrough came in 2007, when Apple launched the first iPhone. In 2013 KPN was the first operator in the Netherlands to introduce 4G, so as to cope with the growing volume of data traffic. Since then Netflix, YouTube and Instagram run just as quickly on our phone as at home, and 2020 saw the advent of 5G. New technology signals the end for old technology that very few customers are still using. Consequently, in the course of this year KPN will finally stop using the third-generation mobile network. Little will change for the last few 3G users, who will use 4G or 5G, or revert to 2G.
10. The foldable phone makes a comeback
Do you remember being able to fold and unfold your phone? The feeling of that “clap” simply isn’t the same as the sound that smartphones make when you switch off the screen. Good news for people who miss that feeling: in 2022 we expect new foldable phones from several brands, in addition to Samsung. Users will be able to benefit from a larger screen, while the phone will still fit into your pocket. In addition, the latest smartphones are increasingly equipped with eSIMs. The successor to the traditional SIM card has been around for a while; operators including KPN support this digital SIM card, which is built into an increasing number of smartphones and wearables. The eSIM is better for the environment, as it does not use a plastic card, and it is more convenient as well. When taking out a new subscription or switching SIM cards, it will no longer be necessary to wait for the new SIM card to arrive.