5 Enterprise Use Cases CSPs Can Capitalize On Today
Today, more than half of all communications service providers (CSPs) globally get 90 percent of their revenue from B2C. But the future looks quite different. In the next five to 10 years, over 75 percent of CSPs expect to get more than half of their revenue from enterprise.
There are a few reasons why this is happening. Chief among them is that the B2C market is fiercely competitive and saturated, with increases in market share hard-fought but well-earned. While CSPs can’t abandon their core consumer business, CSPs stand to make more substantial, scalable gains in the enterprise space.
For instance, technologies like 5G are suited to support billions of connections at greater speeds and economies of scale, and enterprises are looking at how they can use that speed and scale to automate their operations and deliver innovation to their customers.
Read on to find out some of the different ways CSPs can support innovative enterprise use cases today and into the future.
1. Internet of Things (IoT)
CSPs have sought to monetize IoT for several years now, but mass adoption of 5G will amplify what it is possible to do with connected devices. 5G offers much lower latency than 4G (1 millisecond vs. 200 milliseconds) and the ability to support huge numbers of devices connecting to the network simultaneously.
The most obvious way for CSPs to make money from IoT connectivity is at scale, with tens of thousands or millions of devices requiring a connection to function. For instance, Verizon delivers manufacturing connectivity by “instrument[ing] the factory” to “gain data insights and signals and drive decisions.”
In addition to billing for connectivity, CSPs can also partner with other IoT players such as device makers and app providers to deliver functionally rich solutions to the customer, like device monitoring and performance insights. This will allow CSPs to move further into the IoT supply chain, earn a share of the larger revenue opportunity and be far more than a provider of connectivity services.
2. Connected Cars/Fleets
Juniper Research projects that there will be 200 million connectivity-enabled vehicles by 2025, almost double from the number in 2020. Car manufacturers can embed services in the dashboard, from diagnostics to mapping to media and entertainment. CSPs can also facilitate charging for a subscription for connected car services (as seen with Tesla’s Premium Connectivity subscription) or charge/discount in real time (like car insurance companies rewarding drivers based on actual driving habits).
CSPs’ connectivity services can also be deployed fleetwide, with data usage thresholds, data/content bundles and other schemes enabled for commercial trucking organizations. Enterprise customers can gain insights into how the vehicle is performing and proactively schedule maintenance to avoid costly repairs down the road.
However, as with IoT, one of the most promising connected vehicle use cases for CSPs serving enterprise customers lies in developing a connected car ecosystem. For example, Telstra’s connected car solution suite “supports the delivery of IoT based connectivity to provide telemetry management that delivers meaningful information about the vehicle based on data collected from the vehicle’s sensors.”
3. Network Slicing
5G will enable CSPs to provide portions of their networks for specific customer use cases such as mobile broadband, smart energy grid, connected vehicles or smart cities. Each use case is allocated a unique set of optimized resources and network topology with SLA-specified properties such as connectivity, speed, and capacity that suit the needs of that use case.
Network slicing allows the creation of multiple virtual networks on top of a shared physical infrastructure, unlike 4G, in which all services and use cases generally share the same infrastructure. CSPs can serve their enterprise customers with different slices of their network, with each slice set up to have a specific configuration to meet the needs of the anticipated service using the slice. There may be slices dedicated to massive IoT, segmented into categories for gaming and VR, which will have different criteria to that for simple sensors sending messages hourly.
There may also be slices for critical services that need low congestion, low latency, high throughput and guaranteed quality assurance. One example is FirstNet, a wireless broadband network built with AT&T, designed specifically for public safety operations. FirstNet offers quality of service, priority and preemption to “communicate without interruption” during emergency situations.
2020 highlighted the importance of having the most up-to-date health information on a global scale. CSPs can take that global focus and make it small, down to a particular hospital or even to the individual patient.
Healthcare organizations can leverage CSP’s high-speed networks to receive relevant information to over augmented reality during a patient surgery, as well as provide remote monitoring of a patient’s vital signs. For example, Vodafone offers remote patient monitoring, which reduces “emergency admissions and the number of home visits and appointments” while letting doctors “see more patients each day.”
Healthcare organizations can also use CSP networks for one of their tried-and-true use cases—messaging and notifications. Healthcare providers can send appointment reminder notifications over voice and text, as well as set up interactive voice response to answer common questions that patients might have.
5. Partner Ecosystems
CSPs can differentiate and grow new revenue streams by working with services partners to deliver service bundles. Consider MTN South Africa—the CSP offers customers the ability to “enable a secure, SLA-backed network connection to the Microsoft Azure Public Cloud and Office 365.”
CSPs are already established experts at ecosystems, and together operate one of the comprehensive, automated ecosystems in existence—the telecommunications network. Today, CSPs are reselling digital services or subscriptions with simple charging models, but in the future, they will need to be able to bundle multiple services together for a particular need (e.g., office software with cloud storage).
To make ecosystems work for the future, solutions are needed to create integrated multi-party offerings, including a centralized catalog with third-party services. For example, if a government organization comes to a CSP asking for a holistic communications and security suite, the CSP should be able to build a customized bundle of offerings tailored to that organization using a tailored catalog to minimize operating costs. CSPs will also need partner onboarding and settlement to quickly add new value-added partners and settle revenue with them.
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