Top Five Telecom Trends to Watch in 2022

Top Five Telecom Trends to Watch in 2022

Top Five Telecom Trends to Watch in 2022

 

December 17, 2021

 

 

Introduction

Post-pandemic market dynamics have been challenging for global CSPs, who have emerged as essential service providers dealing with surging demand from millions working or studying at home. At the same time, there have been significant challenges running their businesses with in-person restrictions and high staff turnover. For many operators, the past year was time to accelerate their digitization roadmap by several years, introducing more digital services and implementing infrastructure to monetize these offerings. This cultural shift driving demand for data services and digital journeys will continue into next year and beyond. In an environment where more retail and enterprise consumers are demanding digital services and digital engagement, what trends can telecom operators expect in 2022?

2022’s top 5 telecom trends

Digitization of business models

The pandemic has completely changed how customers interact with their service providers, transforming the way business is conducted. More interactions are online, and subscribers are more inclined to choose a service provider who offers digital onboarding and self-care services. While many have already modernized their networks, in 2022, CSPs will continue to transform operations through digitalization of infrastructure and services.

More operators will also introduce the zero-touch network, which enables 100% digital customer journeys. This means replacing all physical touchpoints such as stores or support agents with digital and automated ones. Operators will be able to digitize customer experience (CX) with fully digital sales and support, while keeping their initial investment and overheads low. They will be able to offer customers full control over their subscriptions, implementing end-to-end automation to enable everything from digital self-onboarding and eKYC to accessing self-help using chatbots.

To support more advanced and digital services, operators will also need to implement more flexible and agile backend operations and systems. This includes technologies such as hyperscale infrastructure, automated workflows, artificial intelligence (AI), digital apps, and more. Many operators may introduce a new lean, agile, cloud-native digital brand rather than attempting to transform their existing complex network infrastructure.

Focus moving from IoT to IoE

The enterprise segment will drive growth over the new few years, and connectivity is just one part of what CSPs have to offer. Business models will evolve to provide end-to-end service offerings, including many new innovative use cases around IoT. In fact, there will be a shift from simply facilitating use cases involving the Internet of Things to applications that leverage the Internet of Everything. What exactly is the difference between IoT and IoE? The simple explanation is that IoT connects machines, while IoE extends beyond connecting mobile devices and facilitates intelligent connections between all types of data, processes, people, appliances, and things. These connections will be facilitated over public or private networks over standard protocols, and each one can be accessed and measured in real-time. With billions of potential connections supporting a more cognitive and intelligent environment, IoE holds the potential to transform our lives.

This report forecasts that the global IoE market will reach $3,352 billion by 2022. While actual implementation of use cases may still be a while away, there will be significant investments in research and studies to determine the most relevant applications. What use cases networks will facilitate relies heavily on industry-based needs and how they evolve their business models. Industries such as manufacturing and mining are likely to be early adapters, and are already implementing process automation.

Acceleration of cloud deployments

Gartner’s Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2022 report predicts that by 2025, cloud-native platforms will serve as the foundation for over 95% of new digital initiatives, which in 2021 are less than 40%.

Cloud deployment provides a host of benefits to CSPs. For one, it helps keep implementation and operational costs low. It enables telcos to scale up and down to meet traffic demands, optimizing their network resources. It also supports operators to take the ‘pay as you grow’ business approach (another trend that will become increasingly popular in 2022). This model means operators can achieve faster time to market and minimize costs as they only pay for the services that they actually use – both benefits that will help them remain relevant in the increasingly competitive market dynamics we’re likely to witness.

Aside from facilitating CSPs to automate processes and operations, deploying in the cloud will also serve as the foundation for generating new revenue streams and market growth opportunities by implementing tech innovations like data analytics and 5G.

Enterprise Private 5G

The adoption of private 5G networks will start gaining more traction around the world. As these dedicated networks provide security, speed, and bandwidth advantages over WiFi and LTE, they will be game-changers for enterprises.

In 2022, we are likely to see adoption from enterprises such as manufacturers who require 5G capabilities to implement transformative applications that drive smart factories, digital transformation, and IoT. Private 5G will also help forward the vision of smart manufacturing and smart factories. In addition to supporting use cases such as IoT, automation, and enabling ultrafast and reliable connectivity, it will help build factories without wires and cables. This will help manufacturing units drive revenue by saving time and effort while maintaining a clean clutter-free factory floor for robots and automated machines to perform operations.

Cybersecurity

As advanced services such as IoT become prevalent, operators will have access to more customer data than ever and will be expected to provide more personalized experiences by leveraging this data. CSPs need to protect this data to maintain customer trust. And with the huge increase in cyber crime, there will be more region-specific standards and compliances from a regulatory standpoint.

Security in 2022 will go beyond the traditional approaches, with assets and users becoming more mobile. It means implementing a cybersecurity mesh architecture (CSMA), which helps provide an integrated security structure to keep all assets safe, regardless of their location.

From the security standpoint, another added layer that operators can provide is the eSIM. By transmitting all SIM data digitally, operators can eliminate the need for a physical SIM card and delivery address, securing customer data through online verification.

Conclusion

In 2022, 5G and digitalization of networks and service offerings will continue to drive revenue and subscriber growth. A host of new devices and technologies are making 5G and the promise of its advanced use cases a reality. Operators will need to support this growth by implementing modern next-gen applications and infrastructure, such as leveraging the public cloud, all while keeping security in mind. Alepo provides a host of digital-first offerings that enable operators to future-proof their networks. Want to know more about our 5G-ready cloud-based solutions?

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Pankaj Garg

Pankaj Garg

Director, Product Management

Pankaj Garg is a telecom and FinTech expert with over 15 years of experience in the software industry. Handling digital BSS and 5G offerings is among the many hats he wears at Alepo. Always up to speed with the newest advancements in the products he handles, he takes it slow only when he’s road-tripping across India to discover new places.

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Top four 5G revenue streams

Top four 5G revenue streams

Top four 5G revenue streams for telcos

 

December 09, 2021

 

 

5G growth in the next five years

By 2025, there will be a total of over 1.5 billion 5G connections, according to a recent report by Juniper. And this growth is also expected to reflect in operators’ revenue margins. By 2025, many 4G subscribers will rapidly migrate to 5G and will also embrace the business use cases it enables. With this migration, 44% of global operator billed revenue is estimated to come from 5G, projected to reach $357 billion. Clearly, 5G is pegged for robust growth, so what revenue sources can operators capitalize on first?

Top 5G revenue streams

Consumer Segment

Customers today already expect superfast broadband, and this demand will continue to grow as more advanced services are introduced. In addition to providing high-speed services, 5G fixed wireless networks can provide last-mile connectivity to replace fiber infrastructure and are easy to deploy, making them especially relevant in locations where fiber deployment may be difficult. In other words, consumer ISP services are among the high ROI 5G revenue streams with high ARPU.

Rather than completely overhauling their offerings, operators will have the flexibility to create new revenue streams by modifying their existing business models in phases, leveraging their existing infrastructure and technologies. This includes plans with differentiated pricing based on speed, latency, reliability, as well as new usage charges. So, for instance, a CSP that currently provides voice, data, and video offerings can add value by introducing use cases that focus on meeting the Quality of Service (QoS) needs of different retail or enterprise customers.

5G provides a huge opportunity for innovative ideas, new products and services, and transformed business models. Combined with its ability to leverage data and gain advanced insights into customer usage patterns, it helps create new business opportunities like never before.

Some use cases include:

  • The Internet of Things (IoT), with new devices connected to 5G like home appliances, vehicles, and gaming devices
  • Advanced plans and bundles such as differentiated speeds, multi-device, on-demand, unlimited, QoS-based
  • Access to applications requiring enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and ultra-reliable low latency (uRLLC) capabilities, including immersive media and entertainment like enhanced video, AR, VR, cloud gaming, and live event streaming

Enterprise Segment

Along with supporting faster data speeds—roughly 10 times more than what 4G networks are capable of today—5G works with a host of technologies to enable faster, more efficient, streamlined business operations. It enables new use cases by transforming the underlying core network architecture to support virtualization and integrates edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, IoT, cloud applications, and other technologies that help overcome the limitations of legacy networks. This fundamental evolution helps facilitate digital transformation for enterprises, creating new revenue streams.

Enterprises can gain from the advanced features 5G offers. In many scenarios, businesses can benefit from eliminating office wiring for fully wireless environments. They can remove last-mile bottlenecks using eMBB, and uRLLC can transform businesses in several sectors, including financial services, autonomous fleets, mining, energy, and more, connecting all devices and equipment and streamlining operations.

At present, many enterprises operate on WiFi and/or LTE, but 5G will revolutionize these networks by providing a secure, cost-effective solution that supports advanced technologies such as machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, IoT, AR/VR, AI, robotics, and more.

Private 5G networks further present high monetization opportunities with Industry 4.0 applications such as:

  • Smart buildings, cities, farms, factories, energy, security, transport systems
  • Connected offices, including sensor-based building management
  • Healthcare: virtual surgeries, telemedicine, implantable device monitoring
  • Agriculture: connected drones, sensors, cameras, RFID devices to monitor soil quality, irrigation systems
  • Education: virtual classrooms, remote learning, holographic AR
  • Retail: extreme personalization, immersive shopping experiences such as magic mirrors and virtual assistants, recognizing shopper behavior through video analysis, predictive inventories, automated checkout at unmanned stores

In addition to facilitating new technical capabilities, 5G networks can also enable a host of business outcomes, such as:

  • Improving employee productivity by empowering them with faster, more efficient, connected devices
  • Streamlining production, business operations, warehouse management, and leveraging data to predict outcomes
  • Enabling high-quality video and conference calls
  • Integrating immersive AR and VR experiences such as virtual walkthroughs for customers, employees, and stakeholders
  • Accelerating time-to-market of products and services
  • Transforming the customer experience

Partnerships

As consumer demand evolves, telcos will need to look beyond traditional buyer/seller models to enrich their capabilities. Building a wide ecosystem of partnerships presents high revenue potential, especially in the long run. Operators and ISPs are already evolving their business models that will enable them to create platforms or digital marketplaces in the future where they can connect users to services. Leveraging technologies such as open APIs and the 5G Network Exposure Function (NEF), they can launch new and innovative business models.

To develop viable 5G use cases, CSPs will need to collaborate with ecosystem partners for IoT, content, enterprises, cloud, and edge orchestrators. This could include companies that develop devices such as drones, robots, and sensors, technology partners, industrial manufacturers, and more. Implementing a complete 5G core, including SDMAUSF, CHF, NEF, and more will enable these partnerships.

Partnerships can enable new B2B, B2C, and B2B2X business models based on connectivity, shared infrastructure, IIoT, eMBB, uRLLC, mIoT for marketplace platforms, and more.

Some partnership-centric 5G business models that will offer tremendous revenue opportunities for telcos include:

  • Revenue-sharing – similar to content bundling and mobile services combos in 4G/LTE (such as watching a movie or live event and charging for it with the monthly bill), 5G will create multiple revenue streams through collaborations, IoTs, third-party communications, and entertainment bundles, each based on different business models.
  • Commissioning – open new monetization channels by treating your network as a platform, like iOS or Goole Play. When partners sell devices, subscriptions, or content through your marketplace you can earn a fee or commission.
  • Wholesale networks – leverage the massive investment of building a 5G network by leasing out a slice like a traditional MVNO model. In 5G, the types of MVNOs and service providers looking to host their own network will exponentially grow as the types of services offered expand.
  • Flexible charging and policy models – the modern, flexible, and advanced charging function (CHF) and policy control function (PCF) of the 5G core enable operators to truly harness 5G’s monetization potential with partners. CHF helps charge for everything, supports a wide range of service models, and allows real-time charging on various types of events, ensuring zero revenue leakage across services. PCF enables comprehensive policy management, helps implement network slice-based policies for high-end applications such as remote surgeries, robot automation, autonomous vehicles, cloud gaming, and more.

Slicing

Network slicing makes it possible for operators to build multiple dedicated networks, with each one designed to fulfill the diverse needs of different business verticals at the same time. While operators may not see immediate ROI, slicing holds strong promise for the future, especially once RAN is deployed everywhere.

From ultra-reliable communication for autonomous vehicles to enhanced mobile broadband for gaming applications, operators can build a different “slice” for each requirement by segmenting the physical network into multiple logical networks. Integrating Network as a Service (NaaS) enables the physical network to be split into these logical instances, helping operators market and monetize individual slices while letting customers control the specifications of their slices.

Some examples of slices:

  • Service-based slicing
  • Based on Service Level Agreement (SLA) requirements: speed, QoS, security, reliability, latency, services, and more
  • Usage-based monetization
  • Slices for live broadcasts
  • Slices for massive IoT
  • Slices for industrial automation

Conclusion

The transition to 5G will initially require large capital expenditure, and ROI will need to come from more than consumer mobile business. As 5G permeates, we’re certain that private 5G will see widespread adoption. Operator deployments will be especially beneficial to small and medium enterprises, and our industry-leading 5G Core offerings equip operators to cater to these enterprise clients.

Alepo provides end-to-end solutions to meet diverse 5G transformation needs. To this end, we have forged partnerships with leading technology innovators. We also partner with local system integrators to ensure regulatory compliance and flawless implementation. Alepo is an early mover in global 5G implementation, and our solution undergoes continual R&D to ensure we provide market-leading innovation, enabling our customers to have an edge over their competitors.

Anurag Agarwal

Anurag Agarwal

Director – R&D (5G)

A telecom veteran with over 20 years of experience, Anurag is a researcher at heart. He’s always up to speed with the newest technologies, including 5G RAN, IoT, edge computing, network management systems, and more. After hours, he is a fitness buff who loves badminton, squash, cycling, and running marathons.

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How telcos can redefine CX with a zero-touch network strategy

How telcos can redefine CX with a zero-touch network strategy

How telcos can redefine CX with a zero-touch network strategy

 

November 19, 2021

 

 

Introduction

Telcos have been trying to keep up with increasingly digital lifestyles for years now. The pandemic has further amplified the demand for digitization, significantly impacting the way customers interact. More customers today prefer interacting with their service providers using digital touchpoints instead of visiting physical stores, and operators have already started to replace their conventional outposts. To remain relevant, MNOs need to fully digitize customer experience (CX). Having a digital-first strategy and building zero-touch networks enables them to move all customer interactions online while automating back-end processes.

Why zero-touch networks?

Zero-touch networks help operators minimize the need for physical touchpoints and support staff by ensuring all customer interactions take place through a website or mobile app using automation and AI chatbots. Operators can drastically reduce their investments of time, resources, and money by overcoming the constraints of physical infrastructure. The network can operate in the cloud, providing a lean alternative to the traditional network that does not require managing complex IT and network systems, large-scale call centers, and physical stores. Real-time data insights, gained from data gathered through various digital channels, enable sound business decisions and drive business success.

Major operator challenges today

Some challenges that operators need to tackle include:

  • Customer reluctance to visit physical stores and need for instant resolutions
  • Customers want to buy products and services with minimal human interaction
  • Competition from OTT services, many of which offer a modern and advanced CX
  • Advanced offerings to remain competitive with other operators while keeping costs low
  • Customers expect their service providers to grant them an effortless and personalized experience
  • Automating interactions and using data insights to personalize the experience

Zero-touch networks help address all these concerns, granting more control to customers.

Business benefits of the zero-touch model

Zero-touch networks enable operators to remain competitive, minimizing their dependence on physical stores, support staff, inbound call centers, and network infrastructure, helping them to:

  • Attract a younger, more digitally savvy clientele
  • Significantly reduce capital, operational, and resource costs
  • Complete sales and support activities in a fraction of the time with enhanced lead generation
  • Ensure faster and more meaningful interactions, letting customers control how they interact
  • Introduce personalized and contextual plans, campaigns, and promotions
  • Gain data insights to predict customer needs with advanced web analytics
  • Accelerate time-to-market for new products and services

How zero-touch networks transform CX

Business benefits of the zero-touch model

The all-digital strategy enables all customer interactions through a website or mobile app

The zero-touch network strategy helps digitize and automate the entire customer lifecycle, starting with marketing services to gain new subscribers, followed by registration, onboarding, and account activation. Campaigns and promotions can be configured for up-selling, cross-selling, and loyalty programs. And finally by giving the tools to solve their own problems, with chatbots and community forums.

Zero-touch networks help meet the growing demand from customers to have more control over their accounts. Customers can customize their plans, select the contract term, pick the mobile number they want, check for service availability in their area, choose from a range of personalized promotions and campaigns, set custom notifications, complete purchases using the online payment methods of their choosing, and more.

The CX can be further enhanced by coupling these features with a clean design that makes the UX easy to navigate. For instance, fewer screens to complete an action, clear CTAs and buttons, seamless experience to enable returning customers to pick up where they left off, and more.

Operations enabled by zero-touch networks

Watch the video: how zero-touch networks digitize CX.

Digital onboarding

End-to-end digital onboarding enables customers to self-register, verify their documents, and activate their accounts – completely online. On the operator’s website or mobile app, they can browse offerings, select the plan/s they want, upload their identification documents and have them verified through secure eKYC, make an online payment, order the SIM card to their address, and activate the SIM online, all within a fraction of the time it took to purchase a new connection through conventional means.

Operators are also beginning to adopt eSIMs, adding an additional security layer by eliminating the need for a physical SIM card and replacing it with digitally transmitted SIM data. Combined with a backend with fully automated workflows backed by AI and RPA, operators can ensure a smooth, seamless, and secure onboarding experience.

Automating customer journeys

Zero-touch networks enable operators to provide more personalized, intelligent, and dynamic customer journeys by leveraging the potential of modern digital platforms such as social media, chat platforms, and community forums.

Automated digital touchpoints provide customers with relevant recommendations depending on their usage patterns and preferences, enable guided searches, ensure a consistent experience across platforms, and more.

Operators, in turn, gain a holistic view of the customer journey, helping improve sales and marketing strategies and facilitating them to provide more contextual offerings. By providing omnichannel self-care, they can enable customers to interact using the language and platform/s of their choice. Implementing automation and AI chatbot integrations means only issues that cannot be resolved by a digital assistant are escalated to human agents, reducing dependence on human agents and helping phase out inbound call centers.

Advanced data gathering and insights

One of the greatest benefits of an all-digital offering is that it presents the opportunity to gather data at every touchpoint and interaction with the customer. In addition, operators can also encourage more engagement – more engagement means more data – through digital channels with quick surveys, opinion polls, participation in community forums, and more. Through advanced analytics, this data can be used to generate custom BI reports, segmenting customers for a more contextual and personalized user experience than ever before.

Improved digital security

In addition to the data from subscriptions and interactions, there is also an exponentially increasing number of connected devices from which networks gather data. New global and region-specific compliances provide a framework for operators to collect and store this data. They can counter security threats such as the risk of online identity fraud by implementing stringent identity verification systems and eKYC solutions that comply with these new standards and regulations. Employing new technologies such as eSIM and phasing out less secure means of verification such as postal addresses will further help bolster security.

Conclusion

The last two years have largely involved tackling pandemic-related challenges such as unprecedented demand for network services, the inability to operate physical stores and call centers, and digital payments. To accommodate this digital cultural shift, many operators have already implemented several structural changes to modernize their network infrastructure. Moving forward, they will need to continue this move towards digitizing their networks. As they introduce more digital offerings, it’s important for them to leverage AI, automation, ML, and other next-gen technologies to create entirely new experiences rather than replicating traditional analog functions.

The digital-first business model helps enable new capabilities for customers while driving revenue for operators. It streamlines sales and support processes, keeps capital investments and overheads low, and ensures a low resource footprint by operating in the cloud.

Depending on their business goals and current infrastructure (if any), operators may either choose to launch a separate new all-digital brand or digitize their existing networks. Alepo’s cloud-native Zero-Touch Network Solution helps meet every business objective, facilitating fully digital businesses for greenfield and incumbent MNOs. Its unparalleled expertise has recently facilitated a tier-1 North American operator to launch a fully digital mobile service brand – the first of many ongoing deployments.

Begin your zero-touch journey today: book a demo.

 

Pankaj Garg

Pankaj Garg

Director, Product Management

Pankaj Garg is a telecom and FinTech expert with over 15 years of experience in the software industry. Handling digital BSS and 5G offerings is among the many hats he wears at Alepo. Always up to speed with the newest advancements in the products he handles, he takes it slow only when he’s road-tripping across India to discover new places.

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5G and the future of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) services

5G and the future of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) services

5G and the future of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) services

 

October 08, 2021

 

 

Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X)

The automotive sector is on the brink of a digital revolution with the commencement of 5G, bringing new opportunities for cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology. Next-gen capabilities such as ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) and high bandwidth are set to transform connected cars and, ultimately, the way we travel.

Existing cellular technology addresses some V2X requirements, so what makes 5G so different? Combined with fast-developing AI and sensor technologies, 5G will enable completely autonomous vehicles. This means the possibility of eliminating or minimizing road accidents by enabling vehicles to share data in real-time and avoid accidents. In addition, 5G-powered self-driving cars will also vastly improve vehicular performance through energy optimization, ensure traffic efficiency, provide faster routes through accurate route mapping, enable safer roads by letting drivers “see” beyond their visual horizon, and much more. V2X will not only help vehicles communicate with each other and prevent accidents and hazards, but it will also help protect pedestrians with the PC5 interface integrated into their smartphones.

The result: significantly improved quality of life and tremendous monetary savings.

V2X capabilities and transmission modes

The connected cars of today have been evolving for years to become increasingly connected, intelligent, autonomous, and efficient. Apart from reducing latency and enhancing safety, cellular V2X also brings new capabilities to the table.

As a part of 3GPP release 14, V2X includes two transmission modes that collectively enable several use cases:

Direct C-V2X (Cellular V2X) – operates in its own 5.9 GHz spectrum that is independent of mobile networks. It includes the following use cases:

  • Cars connecting to each other – Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V)
  • Cars connecting to pedestrians – Vehicle to Pedestrians (V2P)
  • Cars connecting to infrastructure like street signals – Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I)

Vehicle to Network (V2N) – relies on traditional licensed mobile spectrum

In Release 16, too, direct C-V2X can operate without dependence on cellular networks. However, 5G connectivity helps build an ecosystem of highly reliable and accurate devices that enable autonomous vehicles. These include sensors, cameras, light detection devices, real-time car-to-car communications, and more. With 5G’s ability to support a large number of connected devices in a small geographical area, vehicles will be able to access more data about their surroundings.

C-V2X use cases enabled by 5G

The V2X ecosystem enables a broad range of services for connected car environments, and 5G takes accuracy to new heights. Some high-value use cases include:

  • Cars connecting to cyclists
  • Traffic lights broadcasting signals to cars
  • Dynamic maps in real-time
  • Central planning systems to coordinate traffic flow
  • High-density platooning or cars driving in close proximity to safely optimize road space
  • Positioning and ranging
  • Identifying empty parking slots
  • Hazard warnings
  • Cooperative driving
  • Collecting tolls without drivers having to stop at physical checkpoints

Why it demands an edge core

Today, autonomous cars like Tesla and Zoox are highly advanced and require mission-critical low-latency. 5G URLLC enables them to fully meet their potential. The 5G edge core is essential in enabling mobile network operators to cater to 5G connected cars by helping keep latency low, maintaining safety even for vehicles driving at high speeds.

How does 5G core enable V2X?

An edge core with high transaction per second (TPS) is imperative for C-V2X. Alepo’s 5G Converged Core provides V2X support, including V2X subscriptions and policies, the capability to configure and maintain V2X subscription parameters, and more. It allows UEs to be authorized for V2X capability in both EPC and 5GC. UEs can be classified into two types – vehicle and pedestrian – each having its own QoS parameters.

Alepo’s Policy Control Function (PCF) will help configure policies for vehicle and pedestrian UEs. The operator can launch innovative V2X services by defining parameters such as RAT, transmission profile, communication mode, and signaling protection mode. Individual services can then be associated with a V2X policy, customizable for different geographical areas and radio parameters.

With Alepo’s Subscriber Data Management (SDM) agent portal, each individual subscriber profile can be enabled for V2X services. This flexible configuration will enable the operator to achieve optimized end-to-end V2X connectivity.

Where we’re headed

Cellular vehicle-to-everything provides a host of benefits for all involved parties: vehicle manufacturers, drivers, pedestrians, those in charge of traffic operations and management, and, of course, 5G network providers. 5G enables the end-to-end delivery of V2X services, ensuring high ROI.

C-V2X can be rapidly deployed as it is compatible with LTE base stations. 3GPP standards help provide a roadmap for operators to evolve from LTE to 5G, ensuring a highly scalable and future-proof investment. Operators can leverage their existing network infrastructure for the initial rollout of services, and gradually transition as they evolve their networks.

It will be a while before the autonomous car ecosystem is fully functional. However, the technology is ready and communications service providers should invest in the necessary infrastructure now. Trials should be conducted to ensure the reliability and feasibility of the ecosystem.

Alepo already has V2X trials underway, and we’d love to share the details with you. To know more, write to us on market.development@alepo.com.

Nitish Muley

Nitish Muley

Senior Engineer

Nitish has spent years developing use cases for technologies like VR, AR, IoT, and is currently working on Alepo’s newest products. Always up to speed with the latest in the industry, Nitish is a voracious reader – and fervent writer – about all things related to tech and wireless standards. After hours, he wears a traveler’s hat, pursuing his love for photography as he explores different countries.

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Four key enablers for 5G monetization

Four key enablers for 5G monetization

Four key enablers for 5G monetization

 

August 05, 2021

 

 

Introduction

Operators today provide connectivity to millions of people who are embracing a more digital lifestyle. They are also facilitating this shift for enterprises as they undergo digital transformation. To make their 5G investments profitable, CSPs need a monetization strategy that takes a multipronged approach. In addition to direct monetization, they must include partnerships, digital ecosystems, as well as unique and innovative business models. 5G monetization demands that communications service providers (CSPs) reshape and evolve their revenue management systems to ensure they can support complex B2B, B2C, and B2B2X services. So, what are the key enablers for this change?

5G use cases ready to be monetized 

5G means CSPs will be able to offer a host of new services that require advanced monetization platforms, new business models, and new ways of thinking from traditional voice and data subscriptions. These include services enabled by 5G capabilities such as:

  • Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB): enables CSPs to handle ever-increasing data rates, user density, and traffic capacity.
  • Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC): enables the IoT ecosystem, where a large number of devices are connected to the network with varying policies.
  • Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC): caters to latency demands, especially for mission-critical and safety-critical applications.
  • Network Slicing: enables operators to use shared physical infrastructure to create multiple autonomous networks, each one catering to different QoS requirements for bandwidth, storage, processing power, and more.

The key enablers for 5G monetization

To cater to the needs of their individual and enterprise customers, and to capitalize on the possibilities of 5G, CSPs need to focus on these four key enablers:

Platform-based business model

As the 5G ecosystem expands the services and applications that can be consumed through the network, CSPs need to evolve their business models to serve as platforms that connect consumers with producers. A platform-based business model enables operators to build a wide range of industry-specific business models based on consumption (APIs, insights, and so on), use of shared infrastructure, customer journeys, and more. Operators can also set up digital ecosystems using the platform business model. These ecosystems or digital marketplaces connect businesses with consumers.

5G operators can leverage their existing infrastructure to forge diverse partnerships and offer a platform to producers, manufacturers, retailers of products and services. Network slicing enables CSPs to support and monetize these services. These partnerships can span across industry verticals such as connected cars, smart cities, industrial IoT, and more.

CSPs today are associated with multiple diverse service chains and can leverage their customer data and analytics to create highly profitable platforms that are mutually beneficial for customers and the providers of the service. They can be used to introduce more advanced offerings. For instance, Telefónica UK provides an insurance offering called O2 Drive, leveraging customer data insights to create contextual offers at better rates. The app uses GPS tracking to monitor customer journeys, giving each customer a score to tell them how safely they drive and providing tips to improve.

Robust partnership ecosystem

One of 5G’s core transformative abilities is in enabling service providers to forge diverse partnerships, thus enabling B2B2X ecosystems. 5G and IoT open business opportunities at multiple levels, with business models such as shared infrastructure, revenue-sharing, connecting multiple devices on a single network, and more. Operators can monetize partnerships based on SLAs and QoS, volumes, product/service type, inventories, infrastructure use, API and service consumption, and so on. Partners can, in turn, implement subscription- and transaction-based models, charging consumers based on their usage in terms of time, volume, output, and more.

CSPs can facilitate and monetize diverse and advanced telco as well as non-telco applications, building a partner ecosystem that spans across industries. Use cases such as road safety with self-driving vehicles and smart traffic management hold immense ROI potential. Logistics companies can be provided platforms to maximize business efficiency through real-time fleet tracking, route and fuel optimization, and more. Smart grids and utility providers can use data from IoT and connected devices to manage distribution. Healthcare professionals can benefit from platforms that enable telemedicine and remote surgeries. Agriculture can employ connected devices such as drones, sensors, and cameras to monitor soil and crop quality. Manufacturing units and factories can connect all devices on the floor from larger machines right down to a screwdriver to optimize efficiency. For retail applications, operators can help enable smart home portals and apps, digital ecosystem platforms, and much more.

Customer-focused innovation

Customer experience (CX) is a major driver for success today, compelling operators to shift their focus to customer service and service monetization in all aspects of their business, from designing products to the partnerships they build.

Ensuring good CX includes innovative business offerings, digitized experience, high network performance, service availability, and reliability. It also means billing, charging, settlement, customer support processes need to be CX-driven. Operators must look at automating CX by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) in their back-office processes such as order management as well as by implementing chatbots and automation in their payment and self-care apps.

So, how do operators monetize CX? A major part of it is ensuring simple and easy-to-implement pricing structures. Offering asset-light business models is especially beneficial to enterprises, where CSPs can provide the underlying IT and charging infrastructure to businesses, granting them full control of the services they offer to their consumers without having to invest in their own infrastructure.

Monetization models can be based on a host of different parameters depending on the applications, such as UE/MAC address for IoT and I-IoT applications, infrastructure use, inventories, geographical locations, time of day, demand, and more.

SBA core driven networks

SBA architecture with 5G core and cloud infrastructure are key enablers to the network, helping launch advanced services like URLLC, network slicing, and more. Network slicing is set to revolutionize how networks are used and monetized. And while sharing network resources means more efficient use of the infrastructure, it demands advanced charging systems to cater to the diverse use cases it supports. One slice may demand low-latency QoS, while another demands ultrafast speed, and a third demands high bandwidth. Monetizing these network slices demands dynamic near-real-time charging and policy control.

In addition to QoS, 5G monetization platforms enable charging for network use, based on the number of connections, data frequency, real-time versus non-real-time operations, location precision, and more.

Solutions that maximize 5G monetization capabilities 

In consumer as well as enterprise applications, 5G supports endless possibilities of business models and charging use cases. They will be required to support online as well as offline charging, scaling to handle the demands of IoT billing so they can charge small amounts at a massive scale. They will also need to support a range of revenue-sharing arrangements with n-level hierarchies. CSPs will need to ensure they are constantly innovating to support charging with evolving services like on-demand network slices.

As CSPs make the transition to 5G, successful monetization relies largely on the flexibility of an operator’s billing, charging, and policy infrastructure systems to support multiple pricing models. They also need to implement a next-gen partner management solution to handle diverse partnerships. Implementing a future-proof digital BSS/OSS infrastructure helps begin their journey of digital transformation, enabling them to get the most out of their 5G monetization infrastructure.

Rajesh Mhapankar

Rajesh Mhapankar

Vice President, Product Management

A seasoned professional, technologist, innovator, and telecom expert. With over 20 years of experience in the software industry, Rajesh brings a strong track record of accelerating product innovations and development at Alepo. He supports the company’s mission-critical BSS/OSS projects in LTE, WiFi and broadband networks, including core policy, charging, and control elements.

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Leveraging partnerships to increase 5G revenue

Leveraging partnerships to increase 5G revenue

Leveraging partnerships to increase 5G revenue

 

August 05, 2021

 

 

Introduction

Partnerships are the future of 5G, and they will shape the future of the CSP. Success will rely on the systems and infrastructure that enable CSPs to create new and innovative business opportunities, helping build a vast and diverse partner ecosystem. Increasing their 5G revenue will mean that telecom operators will need to look beyond offering network coverage and support more advanced uses and outcomes with the connectivity they provide.

The use of technology is increasing in sectors such as agriculture, logistics, energy, manufacturing, automotive, and transportation, helping drive business decisions, improve processes, optimize resource use, and secure new revenue streams. Many have also begun using RFID tags, sensors, cameras, drones, and other real-time surveillance and data-gathering devices. As more and more industries begin to digitize their businesses and use cloud-based infrastructure, they need robust and reliable network connectivity to ensure they can efficiently monitor and operate their assets, support process automation, and handle large volumes of data unlike ever before. And that’s where 5G comes in.

Through private or enterprise 5G, CSPs can enable businesses to run their own secure and reliable networks. Network slicing also reduces the need for businesses to invest in dedicated infrastructure. CSPs can optimize and monetize their network by dividing it into dedicated “slices” for different enterprise customers, allocating resources depending on the use case.

Top 8 industries that benefit from 5G partnerships

Partnerships provide infinite possibilities for CSPs, though some industries are more likely to be early adopters of the technology. Some of these industries and their use cases include:

Transportation

5G will revolutionize transport: a recent World Bank report states that 5G holds the potential to accelerate several evolving technologies such as sharing economy and digital platforms, electric and autonomous vehicles, and advanced business models like Mobility as a Service (MaaS). The report also says that mobility-driven demand for connectivity will likely be an important revenue stream for expanded 5G coverage, and the revenue from connected vehicles in major road corridors could potentially yield ROI within just 3-4 years.

Autonomous vehicles will improve road safety and be especially viable on closed campuses in the near future. Smart traffic control with real-time management through connected traffic lights will alleviate traffic congestion. Extending route-mapping technology to transport fleets will improve efficiency and provide real-time updates to commuters on transit times and/or delays. Connecting public places like stadiums with public transport systems will enable them to anticipate higher demand during events.

  • V2X communications
  • Vehicle-to-vehicle communication
  • Airborne taxis
  • Prognostic maintenance
  • Digital twins
  • Remote vehicle health monitoring
  • In-vehicle infotainment
  • Intelligent traffic
  • Energy and utilities

    The energy industry currently faces the shift to renewable power, uncertainty over fuel prices, outdated infrastructure, declining revenues, and regulation and policy restrictions. Next-gen technology can help tackle these challenges, helping build a digitalized smart grid using AI, machine learning, and data analytics, and connected with 5G. Intelligence gathered from IoT devices and other technologies gives utility providers more control over distribution, battery energy storage, and renewable energy generation. This enables building smart factories, improved agility, improved CX, lower operating costs, decentralized business models, and high ROI.

  • Smart street lighting
  • Virtual power plants
  • Smart energy management
  • Drone monitoring
  • Smart metering
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Healthcare

    Private 5G is set to revolutionize healthcare, helping ensure more efficient patient care, implement monitoring to enable preventative practices, and reduce escalating treatment costs. It will also mean improved healthcare practices, safer storage of patient data, and broadening access even to those in remote or distant areas.

    The high speeds, reliable connectivity, low latency, and real-time data streaming that private 5G networks provide enable limitless IoT applications, also known as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). Teleconsultation is already being adopted by many hospitals and clinics – a trend escalated by the pandemic to enable patients to access quality medical care from the safety of their homes. As IoT-enabled automation and private 5G networks become more pervasive, healthcare professionals will be able to leverage these technologies to provide e-health applications and personalized treatment options.

  • Remote surgeries
  • AR/VR-enabled healthcare
  • Telemedicine
  • Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgeries
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Wearables and ingestibles
  • Connected ambulances
  • Implantable device monitoring
  • Financial services

    Today, the success of financial services such as banks, finance, and insurance (BFSI) companies is hinged, among others, on two important factors: security and customer experience. Private 5G helps fulfill these two requirements by providing ultra-high reliability, higher data capacity, and low latency. The adoption of private 5G and more widespread use of IoT systems and devices will help boost security and CX while driving ROI. It supports disruption from fintech firms, enables a host of advanced mobile transactions, and facilitates service providers to create custom financial solutions to meet an array of business requirements.

  • Smart bank branches
  • Remote tellers
  • Internet of Moving Things
  • Payment-enabled wearables
  • Entertainment and media

    5G technology will change the face of entertainment and media. According to this report, the global media industry is expected to gain $765bn in cumulative revenues from the new applications and services that 5G enables. Smartphones and consumer devices increasingly support the richer and more advanced audio, video, and multimedia experiences that are facilitated by 5G’s low latency and high bandwidth. The next step is new media experiences for residential and enterprise applications. This will mean collaborative and shared live entertainment, AR/VR, interactive and cloud gaming, immersive events such as sports, personalized content, immersive advertising, and much more.

  • Temporary event networks
  • Enhanced mobile advertising
  • Smart stadiums
  • Connected haptic suits
  • Immersive media
  • Enhanced mobile media
  • In-car entertainment
  • Ultra-high-definition video streaming
  • Manufacturing

    Manufacturing units that run business-critical activities require infrastructure and applications that demand high reliability, low latency, and uninterrupted connectivity without a wired network. Enterprise or private 5G enables the application of robotics, AI, automation, Industrial IoT, and augmented reality to improve efficiency, lower costs, transform production processes, and facilitate new business models for manufacturing companies. It can help minimize downtime and delays in production, enable streamlined supply chain management, facilitate improved quality checks, boost staff safety, and empower more informed decision-making in real-time using BI analytics.

  • Smart factories
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Drones
  • Human-robot collaboration
  • Education

    The pandemic has already accelerated a massive digital revolution in learning, moving teaching to virtual classrooms. And while e-learning is off to a good start, 5G will help bridge the divide caused by the limitations inherent to legacy networks such as lagging speeds and the lack of more immersive experiences. Improved connectivity, ultrafast speeds, and the integration of IoT and robotics will enable educators to create enriched educational experiences that not only match classroom experiences but also surpass them.

  • Smart classrooms
  • AR/VR
  • Remote learning
  • Holographic instructors
  • Robots educators
  • Personalized learning
  • Agriculture

    5G is expected to revolutionize the agricultural sector, enabling centralized and real-time control over agricultural practices. Many have been turning to newer technologies in recent years to monitor and improve farming practices. Drones, sensors, and cameras are already in use to monitor soil hydration, rainfall, soil nutrients, weeds, temperature, and so on. Connecting these devices to a 5G network and leveraging next-gen features will enable more precision and efficiency in the systems. Smart farming applications enable farmers to segment their fields and treat different sections based on their unique needs using machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and AI. Farmers can use geolocation services to track livestock in real-time, monitor food intake, keep a check on animal health, and more.

  • Precision farming
  • Autonomous plants
  • Self-driving tractors
  • Extended IoT and M2M
  • Wireless sensors and drones
  • Livestock tracking
  • How Alepo can help

    Cross-industry partnerships will be the most lucrative path to success for 5G service providers, and to attract more partners, they will need to enable innovative 5G use cases. This means providing a robust platform that supports easy onboarding of partners and customers, omnichannel support, and in-built monetization systems. As early movers in enabling 5G, we’ve already begun facilitating operators to stay ahead of the global trend of small and medium businesses turning to operators for their private 5G networks. Our end-to-end solutions enable operators to forge cross-industry partnerships, meet regulatory needs, and develop fail-proof cybersecurity strategies. Learn more about our 5GC solutions.

    Pankaj Garg

    Pankaj Garg

    Director, Product Management

    Pankaj Garg is a telecom and FinTech expert with over 15 years of experience in the software industry. Handling digital BSS and 5G offerings is among the many hats he wears at Alepo. Always up to speed with the newest advancements in the products he handles, he takes it slow only when he’s road-tripping across India to discover new places.

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