Telecom has been a booming industry for as long as some of us have been alive. From the dot-com boom and bust to the FAANG companies and Cloud Czars, fortunes have been made by letting people interact with each other more easily. The next generation’s Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) may not be one of the Big Tech companies that are known today. Because of that, the next millionaire-making telecom stocks could be overlooked right now.
The future of telecom investing isn’t in doing the same thing as everyone else. It’s in expanding the offerings of service in new avenues and with new ideas. It’s in using the promise of technology to improve efficiency in every way possible. That’s why an open mind and a willingness to embrace new ideas will be key. The winning next-gen telecom stocks may not seem like much now, but you don’t want to be like the people who thought the internet would be no more important than the fax machine.
From artificial intelligence () to edge cloud, technology and telecom will continue to drive human progress. Additionally, telecom stocks in this area will continue to be big winners. So here are some of the most exciting bets of the next few decades.
Fastly (NYSE:FSLY) is a leading edge cloud provider, and edge cloud has potential to be the future of telecom. Edge computing brings the servers closer to the end user, and this ensures faster and more secure content delivery. By processing data closer to where it is produced, real-time decision-making is enhanced. This also allows Fastly’s cloud to perform operations faster, cheaper and potentially more securely.
Fastly also provides a wide variety of close-needed services through its edge cloud. From DDoS protection to real-time content logging and streaming, Fastly provides highly customizable and flexible options to suit customer needs. That can make acquiring customers much more easily than for other large clouds which offer rote, off-the-shelf solutions instead.
One of Fastly’s most interesting new developments is its Oblivious HTTP partnership with Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Chrome. This protocol allows greater anonymity to users of Google Chrome. Thus, this prevents microtargeting and addresses users’ privacy concerns. As privacy and users’ data is of growing interest, developments such as this could help put Fastly at the forefront of privacy developments.
For its part, Fastly has been growing quickly. In Q1 2023, revenue grew 15% year-over-year from $102 million to $118 million. In the same time period, net loss dropped by 30% from $64 million to $45 million. Fastly is showing progress toward becoming a profitable company. And its cash and cash equivalents of $348 million means it has the runway to get there. The future of next-gen telecom stocks may be providing services as close to the end user as possible, so real-time decisions and reactions can be possible. And if that is the case, then Fastly could be one of the best telecom stocks to buy and hold forever.
The future of telecom investing will include AI. For that, Twilio (NYSE:TWLO) has you covered.
Twilio is providing AI voice and AI communication platforms to its customers, upending customer management and providing potentially enormous savings. Twilio is providing CustomerAI, which uses a Large Language Model (LLM) to help businesses to communicate with customers without hiring so many service representatives. This sort of conversational AI can communicate with customers through text, voice, video and other means to solve problems without the need for a human representative.
It’s difficult to overstate just how impactful this can be. Customer relations is an expensive business when every customer must be matched to a human employee to have their problems heard. Voice recognition and automated response systems have for a long time eased the burden on customer relations employees. But new AIs can help even more,. In fact, they can power the more than 1 trillion customer interactions that go through Twilio without needing any human on the other end of the line.
Twilio also excels as a next-gen telecom stock because of its usage-based pricing. This allows customers to only pay for services they need. Customers have been drawn to this. In Q1 2023, Twilio’s revenue grew 15% year over year from $875 million to $1 billion. Net loss also grew from $224 million to $332 million over the same period. However, this was driven in part by costs incurred from restructuring and investments. Such costs were not present last year and may not need to continue next year.
With revenue growing and a new AI offering, if Twilio can find itself to be profitable, it will be one of the best telecom stocks to hold forever.
Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN) is an important chip stock making semiconductors for telecommunications. These optical semiconductors turn light impulses into electrical impulses and vice versa. Infinera competes in the same market as China’s Huawei, which has faced bans and restrictions on national security grounds. As governments try to prop up their local telecom companies against Huawei and other competitors, an American company like Infinera could be one of the benefactors.
Infinera’s optical semiconductors are critical for modern long-distance communication. And they also provides optical switching and routing to control network traffic, regulate bandwidth, and monitor and control network performance. These tools help customers control their data, a crucial tool in modern networks.
Infinera has also recently floated the idea of selling itself. With telecom being so heavily scrutinized because of fears of Chinese companies, a sale could be lucrative indeed. Its status as an American chip manufacturer could be worthwhile to a buyer, and the stock would likely get a boost. Little information has come out regarding any potential buyers, but if the company is still working on, it they are likely holding their cards close to their chest.
Infinera’s Q1 2023 report shows revenue growing at 17% year over year from $267 million to $315 million. With net loss improving from $42 million to $8 million over the same time period, Infinera could soon be a profitable company.
As data demands grow, companies will want more optical chips to help move that data around. Infinera is therefore well-placed for the future of telecom no matter what should come.
On the date of publication, John Blankenhorn held LONG positions MSFT, AAPL, and GOOGL. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.