5G: Opportunities and Challenges for Telcos in the B2B Segment
High-speed, low-latency transfers involving volumes of data previously unthinkable are the new reality as 5G and the IoT revolutionize the telecommunications sector. And there are significant gains to be made by operators that can adapt to this new world order.
What are the challenges and opportunities of 5G for telcos in B2B operations?
We are already seeing telcos target industry verticals with 5G applications and IoT devices. In healthcare, telemedicine is gaining ground as a cost-effective and timely means of delivering some forms of diagnoses and treatment to the benefit of medical staff and patients. Connected cars have already added a new dimension to personal transport (with connected cities also revolutionizing whole traffic infrastructure systems). And e-learning is well-known in education. Telcos can expand into all of these sectors and more by automating online customer on-boarding and lead to cash processes.
Another key area of development for telcos in the 5G era will be network virtualization
This is expected to grow in importance because virtual network functions (VNF) and software-defined networking (SDN) facilitate much more dynamic networks that will let operators take full advantage of the opportunities offered by network slicing and edge computing. Combined with a higher level of automation and sophisticated virtual network management and security processes, network slicing in particular will give telcos a further way of enhancing network monetization.
New telecommunications business models are already emerging in the B2B segment thanks to the possibilities offered by 5G, virtualization and automation. Managed services can be a cost-effective way of outsourcing certain processes for many organizations, and telcos can further monetize 5G-related operations by delivering value-added products such as cloud computing solutions (storage, software and devices), IT security, payment management and IoT offers.
It’s worth remembering that, while the telecommunications industry is still highly competitive, the rules of the competition have changed somewhat with the arrival of 5G. Telcos can no longer count on operating alone, and must seek partnerships that are mutually beneficial and allow them to deliver comprehensive enterprise service management platforms.
We might say of 5G that the future has already arrived
But of course, nothing stands still for long – especially in telecommunications and other tech-based industries. Telcos (among others) are actively seeking new use cases that make sound business sense and can further enhance 5G monetization. There is as yet no single, comprehensive product that has been proven to deliver guaranteed results in this respect – but who knows what this year will bring...?