5G is set to unlock a new world of connected opportunity. In its 2020 Mobile Market Report, mobile industry organization GSMA predicts 5G will account for 20% of global connections by 2025. This will represent a major driving force behind US$5tril of economic value added by mobile technologies and services by 2024.
The transition to a 5G-future will require significant investment, with US$880bil in capital investment for 5G network technology and adoption expected between 2020-25. That represents a substantial capital expenditure requirement for operators, with expectations of an equally significant return. Total mobile operator revenues are projected to reach US$1.14tril by 2025, largely driven by enterprise IoT and 5G services. On a global scale, 5G technologies are expected to contribute US$2.2tril to the global economy in the decade between 2024 and 2034.
5G represents a transformational platform technology that is set to boost innovation and unlock global economic growth. That also means a new future of customer anticipation and expectation, creating new challenges and opportunities for telecommunications operators.
Reliable solutions delivering connected value
While much of the public focus on 5G has been around connection speeds, perhaps the greatest potential of this opportunity comes from the reliability of the 5G bandwidth itself. The technical reality of the 5G spectrum is a fresh guarantee of dependable and low latency connections. That means connected devices can communicate seamlessly in 5G areas without risk of connection dropout or lost data.
This new network reality is why the wider internet of things (IoT) is such an integral part of the overall 5G opportunity, with global IoT revenue expected to more than triple to US$1.1tril by 2025 according to the GSMA report.
The promise of smart connected cities and industry is at the heart of a future enabled by 5G. But beyond the near-science-fiction nature of smart connected infrastructure, this is a technology which is set to transform the operating landscape for providers and customers alike.
Communication service providers (CSPs) will need to meet the changing needs of billions of new and existing telecoms customers, each with growing expectations of a dynamic, personalized digital ecosystem. That’s particularly true in the area of enterprise products and services.
5G network slicing is one aspect of innovation set to unlock new opportunities for business and telecoms customers. This innovation in 5G network architecture enables CSPs to provide virtualized, independent networks using shared physical network infrastructure.
The commitment of network bandwidth to dedicated use cases provides a real enabler to key technologies and opportunities across industry verticals. 5G slicing means dedicated bandwidth for smart meters in utilities, reliable networks for connected smart cities, and guaranteed 5G data speeds and transfer times for business-critical infrastructure in industries from oil and gas to manufacturing. These are just some of the opportunities that 5G network slicing could offer.
GSMA estimates that network slicing could generate US$300bil of new revenue streams over the next five years, with CSPs working to deliver customized products and services to meet evolving customer needs.
Meeting dynamic customer needs
One of the primary challenges for 5G service providers will be meeting dynamic customer needs in a rapidly changing environment.
Providers attempting to roll out a one-size-fits all approach to network slicing for example will find themselves losing out to those who commit to truly customized services that recognise, and meet, unique customer needs. The requirements of a utility company seeking to enhance advanced smart grid technologies are likely to be notably different to a municipal authority looking to develop emerging smart city infrastructure.
Market success will be built on delivering simple, effective solutions, with flexible pricing models based around key performance metrics such as availability, quality, security, throughput, and latency. These guarantees will form a core part of future service level agreements.
In this dynamic environment, charging solutions will have to be responsive to real-time changes, with tariff structures that can adapt to complex enterprise service needs. With the accelerating expansion of 5G projected to see it account for 45% of global mobile data traffic by 2025, solutions will need to be rapidly scalable to roll-out new services as demand grows.
Neural Technologies’ Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS) product offers an example of the kind of flexible, scalable solution designed to meet the needs of this challenging growth environment. It’s cloud-based charging engine enables CSPs to rapidly adopt innovative tariff structures, providing a simple solution to test and deliver effective new 5G models. Automated charging workflows and customizable tariff structures make it perfectly suited to this fast-changing network landscape.
In our digitally-enabled world, 5G represents a platform technology with the potential to transform economic opportunities for business and society. The scale of that promise marks an equally remarkable new frontier of business potential for CSPs. Those companies with the vision to build effective partnerships in 5G value roll-out, are connecting to a promising future of new business opportunities.