Operators are not ready to exploit 5G opportunities

News

A new global survey finds service providers are banking on new revenue streams, but are not putting the necessary elements in place.

The survey, conducted by Heavy Reading on behalf of Syniverse, found many operators have not yet developed the necessary payment mechanisms, partnerships and interoperability systems needed to make money from the 5G ecosystem.

The research shows nearly 60% of respondents believe 5G will focus their employers on enterprise ecosystems. Some 77% of respondents expect their companies will lead those ecosystems and offer advanced enterprise services like network slicing.

Respondents expressed confidence in recouping 5G investment from the enterprise market, with 90% saying they have made progress in identifying vertical market opportunities.

Partnering practicalities

However, they also raised strong concerns about the practical challenges of engaging in a new ecosystem with many new partners, payment mechanisms and security challenges.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) said coordinating multiple partners is somewhat or the most difficult challenge, followed by maintaining service quality (70%), and revenue-sharing mechanisms (65%).

Where multiple partners require billing and charging, as many as 83% of respondents identified secure, tamper-proof ecosystem transactions as a somewhat or most important feature. This was followed by being able to allocate revenue between all partners (78%).

Despite the scale of these concerns, 51% said they have not yet identified, or are only just beginning to identify, the technical requirements for multi-party billing, reconciliation and payment solutions.

Further concerns

The survey highlighted further concerns about the industry’s readiness to effectively monetise 5G, with only 10% of respondents saying existing systems are suitable for multi-party billing, reconciliation and payment solutions in 5G.

The complexity of ecosystems raises particular challenges regarding invoicing and payment of non-operator partners. Some 77% see fraud as somewhat or the biggest challenge in this area, closely followed by revenue assurance for billing, and settlement versus contract data 71%.

Syniverse is developing a pilot to use blockchain as a means to transcend industry silos and ensure immutable transactions.

The company is also partnering on a virtualised network that is already powering 30 million connected cars in Asia that all need globally accessible cellular connectivity.

You can find the company in Hall 2, Stand 2G11.