5G and the Evolution of Telecoms
Mark Collins looks at how Telcos can unlock the true potential of 5G
Without a doubt, the rollout of 5G is progressing on a global scale. As of the second half of 2020, there are as many as 400 operators in 129 countries investing in 5G, a staggering amount, particularly when you consider that this is set against a backdrop of the global pandemic. It was reported in March that there were 163 live 5G rollouts across 69 countries, all at different stages, and 96 operators have officially announced their 5G service launches. Add to this the fact that almost half of all mobile connections in North America are expected to be on 5G in the next three to four years, and you can see the huge potential that 5G represents.
While the focus of the last few years has been on the Radio Access Network (RAN) and how 5G technology gets deployed, if Telcos are to extrapolate maximum value from 5G, they need to look beyond the RAN. By developing a strategy to meet enterprise needs, leveraging the power of 5G to bring next-generation capabilities to smart devices and networks, focusing on the 5G technical capabilities and what it promises for business with industrial applications and other areas, Telcos can provide valuable end-to-end services, monetizing them successfully in the process.
Solutions not connectivity
So, how can operators realize the true potential of 5G when it comes to delivering value to enterprises? It has been suggested that at the heart of this ability lies the concept of 5G network slicing. This is based on the proposal that network slices may enable operators to create different propositions for enterprises, propositions that are an amalgam of network components, each with different KPIs and SLAs. But, the real appeal for businesses will be when 5G propositions are spliced together with functionality that actually creates a ‘useful’ solution. Enterprises will be more willing to pay if they can see the value such solutions could deliver to their business. In short, enterprises want solutions, not just connectivity, and it’s the providers who can deliver these solutions who will come out on top in the 5G revolution.
5G network splicing may offer mobile operators the potential for B2B and enterprise value-added services, but to enable that value, there needs to be a major shift in mindset, moving from a more traditional B2C focus to a B2B or even B2B2C outlook. This is where working with the right partner can make all the difference, enabling operators and service providers to interconnect to their 5G network, splicing on the added value that enterprises are demanding.
A focused approach
Here at ZephyrTel, we focus on areas such as Mobile Messaging, Charging and Billing, and Wi-Fi to Mobile RAN interconnect solutions. For example, we will bring the 5G SMSF (SMS function) into play, as well as enabling how operators use messaging over IP far more than has been done so far in 4G rollouts. The 5G CHF (charging function) is also a key component when it comes to the monetization of the 5G network, fronting transactions, and charging events from many major network functions. Crucially, this enables operators to monetize not only service usage, but also access, performance, and SLAs, as well as how they expose their networks for enterprise needs via APIs. This is a concept that’s tried and tested across other industries, driving the API development paradigm in the corporate mindset and the general approach to externalizing services via APIs.
5G holds huge potential for the telecommunications industry, particularly when you consider the massive Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities on the horizon. But, to realize 5G’s full potential, Telcos must look beyond the RAN, focusing instead on enterprise needs. By embracing partnership and collaborative working, it’s possible to leverage the full power of 5G, securing a place at the forefront of innovation, providing value-add enterprise solutions that deliver tangible business benefits every time.
For more information on how ZephyrTel can help you unlock your 5G potential, contact Mark Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.