The 5G technology is in the spotlight among business leaders, media and policymakers. The capabilities like low latency, faster speed and high capacity it offers has made the one-of-a-kind technology to be at the forefront at business partnerships and drive revenues. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are poised to invest millions of dollars in 5G. They are performing 5G speed tests with top-notch 5G Network Testing Equipment and Tools; Top-notch RF drive test tools to measure network performance and achieve desired output before commercialising it to users. IDC, a researching company predicted mobile operators will collectively spend around $57 billion on the 5G rollout by 2022. The main factor that will drive this investment is the anticipated benefits from new 5G use cases and partnerships that will ultimately lead to an increase in return on investments (ROI).
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Expediting 5G deployment with partnerships
Deployment of 5G networks will require huge capital expenditure and the return is almost unlikely to be covered by the mobile spending of the consumers. Hence, the focus must be shifted to enterprise solutions. As they move forward with 5G and build on various use cases, they need to collaborate with other players in the ecosystem to bring out the best innovations. Enterprise consumers are likely to engage themselves in investing in 5G technology as it will create tangible value by resolving their existing problems/issues or create new business models to earn more revenues.
The full potential of 5G for building various enterprise use cases can be unlocked by combining it with other new-age technologies such as IoT, edge computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Cloud Computing, Big Data and security based technologies. All this needs collaboration among device manufacturers, software application providers, and the MNOs to make it a success and seize the opportunity to increase their ROI in the upcoming years. A report from Netcracker & TM Forum suggests that the partnership strategy for telecom service providers can prove to be a worthwhile investment. For example, they are expecting a revenue gain of £187 billion by 2023 with the deployment of industrial automation use cases.
Partnerships to leverage 5G capabilities and drive new revenues
- Ericsson, MediaTek, and China Telecom collaborated to make a 5G SA (Stand-Alone) data call. Utilising MediaTek’s commercial chipset-based terminal, Ericsson and China Telecom performed test end-to-end data on the 5G trial network of the service provider in Hangzhou. The successful call on 5G SA NR (New Radio) is another milestone boosting the 5G SA ecosystem. Apart from supporting enhanced mobile broadband services (eMBB), 5G SA also leads to Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) use cases namely remote surgery, smart factories, autonomous driving, and many more. It also supports a wider range of Internet of Things (IoT) services with the latest technologies such as edge computing and network slicing, thereby giving new opportunities to gain revenues.
- Partnership between Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies was aimed at developing cost-effective and efficient solutions for enabling a smooth shift from 4G to 5G from the very first day. Mobile platforms such as Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 5G and Ericsson’s Spectrum Sharing formula, service providers can tap into the spectrum currently utilised for 4G to launch 5G coverage across the nation with easy network software upgrade method.
- LG and Qualcomm joined hands to build a 5G in-vehicle platform with the implementation of telematics and wireless connectivity in cars. It is expected 75% of the vehicles sold in the year 2027 will have such kind of inbuilt cellular connectivity, thus bringing more car sales to generate revenues.
- In order to succeed in the media and entertainment business, mobile operators are partnering with over-the-top (OTT) to bundle their 5G network service offerings like faster speed as an add-on with their subscriptions. Sometimes, the users are charged explicitly and sometimes without (for instance, by adding non-chargeable streaming videos against the data bundled to the user).
As MNOs develop new partnerships with software service providers, device manufacturers, and other vendors, they need to be very clear about the structure, activities and costs, and revenue shared among the shareholders. The idea is to bring connectivity and leverage 5G capabilities to generate modern use cases that will create value for the enterprises as well as the common consumers. MNOs should think beyond connectivity-driven revenue and act as consultants to solve up new challenges and create new revenue streams, thus enjoying the taste of success more often than before.