Every news article you read in current times will tell you that the world has changed.  What you once considered normal, is now not normal.  Instead we must consider the “new normal”.

Perhaps if a second wave of the virus is on its way – we are likely to have to adjust even further.

For now, with the help of some friends in the industry,  we would like to consider what this “new normal” means to the Telco sector and testing more specifically.

It may not be an exaggeration, however logical research shows that the recovery of the global economy rests on the Telco ecosystem and how it assists in that recovery. After all, whether its essential services through to working from home or anything really that we need to stabilize the economy – connectivity and bandwidth will be key!

According to our very own telco expert Shailesh Gambhir, “one of the biggest challenges that lockdown would have brought, is traffic over networks shifting from business districts to residential districts with random spikes in peak times and massive increases in residential usage.  How do Telco’s test for this level of stress?”

Not to mention an environment that was already ever changing.  For a while now, content has been consumed across devices, across the home and at varying times – which meant testing how this would impact your broadband customers  was already a huge challenge.

According to Dean Clark who is a highly experienced Test Manager in the telco space from the likes of Sky, Virgin Media and YouView – “this is massive positive if providers use it to understand how they would cope with the shift in usage and consider varied test environments. The stress put on networks will give them a good indication of what development and improvements are needed.”

“With more people working from home, user trials for the product environment will become far more accurate as your typical household have varied set ups.” Dean feels this is an area of testing that will take on a bigger role in terms of improving and developing new features/products.

Priyanka Sogani previously a senior automation manager at Sky looks back at how we would have coped with such challenges in the past – “Let us think if this crisis had happened some 10 years ago. Broadband speed in an average home was no better than 2MBps. We didn’t have platforms like Zoom, Google Meet and MS teams. Our smartphones were nowhere near as powerful. Do I remember correctly that we had 2.5G back then? I can’t even imagine how we would have survived a strict lockdown without online grocery orders, Zoom calls with family, online schooling, high quality Netflix streaming and our dear Alexa playing our favourite calming music!”

And what about tomorrow? 

What is going to be important to consider in a world of Quad-Play, 5G, IoT and not only the connected home, but the connected world?

We asked this question to Dean and his response was…”The main question I want answered is, will there be a need for additional home networks with 5G ever increasing data plans which will only become more cost effective in time.”

Priyanka added – “The telco industry has come very far in the last 10 years and this crisis will only accelerate the speed at which we develop and test new products. So, buckle up!”

Plenty to think about and this is only a snapshot. Soon we will share the full podcast on Testing in today’s Telco to listen to all of us discuss these and other topics in more detail.  As Priyanka said – ‘buckle up!’ indeed!