Whenever we think about 5G, we normally associate it with mobile phones with better connectivity, higher data rates and enhanced customer experience. As much as this is true, it is not the only area where 5G is generating excitement among its believers. 5G use cases are set to encompass sectors ranging from manufacturing, automotive and education to entertainment, whereby services such as remote medical assistance or even long-distance, real-time guitar lessons in high definition could become a reality.
5G use cases are many and varied, but turning them into a viable business strategy warrants planning and proactive action to both understand and maximize the technology’s potential.
Looking at it growth-wise, about 70 million new 5G subscriptions were added globally during the second financial quarter (April, May, and June) of 2022, taking the total number of 5G subscriptions to 690 million, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.
To address 5G use cases and deliver the full of 5G, CSPs must evolve their business support systems (BSS) together with their 5G implementation, or trail behind in the quest for profitable 5Gservices. As is the case, 5G deployments are capital-intensive operations, and telcos must find innovative ways to reap the benefits of their investments in 5G connectivity.
Here are some areas that telcos should consider to generate revenue beyond their traditional income routes.
Elevating Industry 4.0
The 4IR technology is transforming how the global production and supply chain network operates through automation, using smart technology, extensive machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and the internet of things (IoT). This integration results in increasing automation, improving communication and self-monitoring, and utilizing AI that can analyze and diagnose issues without the need for human intervention. As an example, operators can provide services such as Edge-as-a-Service as a managed edge computing platform to give enterprises the ability to quickly deploy, manage and monitor applications closer to the edge, as an integrated solution that accelerates business process automation. The near-zero latency for enterprise applications can support cost optimization and enhance end-user experiences in a protected environment for multiple industries, including manufacturing, retail, logistics and entertainment. Various 5G-enabled capabilities such as network slicing, network automation, edge cloud, Massive Internet of Things (mIoT), etc., can be leveraged to provide the efficiency needed to drive productivity in industries.
Gaming, Entertainment & Work
5G enables enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) that can deliver high bandwidth and speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second to enable ultra-high-definition video and data volumes. High-speed mobile broadband enables applications that require rich data transfer in both upstream and downstream directions, like virtual reality and extended reality (XR). Investing in gaming platforms will not only benefit the telcos but also support various communities of content creators and solution providers in the ICT ecosystem. The global gaming market is projected to reach $435 billion by 2028. Meanwhile, the growing remote work culture and substantial demand for over-the-top (OTT) content are contributing to the uptake at the edge of the network. Further, 5G core empowers telcos to offer flexible plans that allow customers to make on-demand consumption to upgrade network performance. With 5G, operators can also introduce business pack plans, which feature premium network conditions around the clock.
Digital transformation is touching every sector in the global market. Rather than creating a vertical 5G applications for each sector themselves, telcos can develop strong cross-industry partnerships and benefit from the value generated from new use cases. For instance, telcos can provide a 5G campus network with mobile edge core solutions that will provide uninterrupted high-speed connectivity and massive bandwidth to enhance the high-precision quality control needed in specific operations – be it in automotive, oil and gas, finance, manufacturing, healthcare, etc. Additionally, investing in intelligent networking processes will allow telcos to stream additional revenue from the value-added services provided by other industries to their customers. Telcos can even benefit from collaborative operations to provide robust networks that will offer reliable, low-latency internet connectivity services through highly resilient, diverse routes in the market, even across borders. Also read: 70% CSPs considering cloud-based monetization solutions, says new Nokia survey
The technological advancements provided by 5G may be most resounding to those directly involved with its development; however, some barriers to its quicker adoption remain. One such prevalent issue is that with 5G, consumer awareness of its promise is relatively low despite prominent players rolling out their offers and sounding the call. What will be required is a comprehensive framework and business support system that can bring strategic partners together, set up offerings, bundle and deliver services to the target audience and apply a revenue share across the partner ecosystem. Telcos can jointly market their offerings through coordinated co-innovation, collaborative sales strategies and business development. By creating highly personalized and targeted offers, highlighting “experiences” as opposed to connectivity and pursuing B2B2C partnerships, telcos have the potential to triple or even quadruple gains, as per industry experts. Also read: Nokia: Three Key Pillars Behind Unlocking CSPs’ Network Value
To best monetize the opportunities presented by the global 5G rollout – which is estimated to generate $13.2 trillion in global economic value by 2035 – telcos must invest in optimizing their network technology and enhance existing strategies for future customer and partner relationships.