5G: European telcos eye new enterprise revenue and NaaS opportunities

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Almost 80% of European operators expect 5G to open up new enterprise revenue opportunities, according to a new survey.

The research, carried out by IDC on behalf of Amdocs, also found that 35% believe enterprise 5G services will allow them to grow their revenue by 5 to 10% within the first two years of launch.

Of the 105 operators surveyed globally, 34% expect to offer commercial 5G services to enterprise customers by the end of 2019. This more than doubles to 84% who plan to provide these services by the end of 2020.

“The survey clearly demonstrates that operators see 5G as a means to restore value around core connectivity services for business customers,” Matthieu Loreille, VP head of consumer, enterprise and technology marketing at Amdocs commented. “5G technologies such as network slicing will allow them to tailor the performance, security level and characteristics appropriate to each business, opening up differentiating monetisation opportunities.”

However it is worth noting that a number of large companies in Germany are looking to install their own private 5G networks, and Germany and other countries, including Belgium, are encouraging new entrants to the telecoms market through 5G spectrum auctions.

Network-as-a-Service

Loreille added that alongside 5G, complementary technologies, such as artificial Intelligence, edge computing and hybrid cloud, will allow operators to make Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) offerings a reality, with connectivity at the heart and value-added services such as cybersecurity, cloud migration and hybrid cloud operations on top.

“This will enable them to build their own networks, aided by intuitive self-service portals that enhance the enterprise digital customer experience,” he said. “But it is against this background that the diversity of 5G-enabled service offerings and new ways of consuming them will stretch the IT supporting stack, meaning that in many cases, they will need to be gradually modernised.”

Upgrading OSS/BSS

Over 70% of respondents said that upgrading their OSS/BSS and deploying virtualised network infrastructures will be essential for delivering 5G enterprise services. Furthermore, nearly 55% feel that artificial Intelligence and machine learning packages will be critical to ensuring better customer experience, while over half said they would need to enhance their service orchestration tool.

The research also found that 72% of the European operators surveyed are confident their company will be first to launch enterprise 5G services. Over 65% said their customers have already expressed an interest in 5G.

European telcos see particular 5G opportunities in healthcare, public sector, automotive and manufacturing.