DTW Session Recap 1: Making Moves in the 5G Era

TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World Series brings together over 400 communication service providers (CSPs) to discuss the most pressing issues and opportunities facing the industry. It should come as no surprise that the first day of the event included a poll question surrounding 5G and its impact on the telecom industry.

88 percent of attendees believe that 5G will drive transformational change and ultimately create new revenue streams. However, major changes are needed to fully seize the 5G opportunity.

All Together Now—Collaboration is Key

Scott Petty, Chief Digital & IT Officer from Vodafone, believes that having all telcos support an open, standard architecture will pave the way to 5G success. With the entire industry working off the same standards, the funds that were previously used on complex integrations can be redirected into fine-tuning new services.

Hyperscalers will also play a major role in the era of 5G. Acting as collaborators, hyperscalers can help telcos create innovative new products and services while helping to improve stability and the reliability of services. In an open and collaborative environment, core vendors must also be able to leverage and utilize the capabilities of hyperscalers for services like cloud-native billing.

Put Simply, Simplify

When it comes to monetizing 5G and its ecosystems, deployments are well underway. Now, it’s time to get the correct business models in place and to simplify technology stacks, product offerings and customer journeys. Nikos Katinakis, the Group Head of Networks & IT at Telstra, shared an example that included paring down from 1,800 products to 20.

Through simplification, CSPs can minimize disruptions and increase resiliency. Additionally, a simplified tech stack grants CSPs the agility necessary in a fast-moving 5G environment. Kamran Ziaee, SVP of Technology Strategy & Planning at Verizon says that service agility and fast, reliable services are key.

From Telco to “Techco”

In response to 5G, operators should think of themselves as more “techcos” than telcos. To do this, some traditional operating models must change while embedding a “digital-first” approach into a company’s culture.

Telenor’s SVP of IT Europe and Global Architecture Cathal Kennedy believes that customers are driving expectations for seamless integration and seamless experiences. The company plans on maximizing automation and being a “touch-free” operator by the end of 2023. They are also using video recognition and monitoring to examine health in the fish farming industry, proving that telcos can provide much more than just connectivity.

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