The annual snapshot of the telecoms industry, conducted by Telecoms.com, is here. The annual survey was completed by close to 300 industry professionals, and the Digital Transformation section was sponsored by Openet, the network services division of Amdocs.
The focus for this year’s survey is, not surprisingly, 5G and provides a snapshot not only of where the technology is but also operators’ views on what they intend to do with it.
Just under one-fifth of respondents have launched a standalone 5G network, and just over that figure are planning to launch soon. Some have completed the planning but do not believe they will launch the network soon because the benefits are still unclear (to them).
One statistic that brings on a slight cold sweat is that a third of the respondents believe that the main driver for launching standalone 5G is ‘competitive pressure.’
This is reminiscent of several technology developments in the past. It is, in essence, the fear of missing out and, as our own survey several years ago showed, many telco professionals ‘have no idea what it (a multimedia enabler) does, but I do know that it is a priority!’
The good news is that a growing number of operators do have a clear idea about 5G. A third believe it will drive new revenue streams, and a fifth want to transform their networks to lay the groundwork to develop commercial models with partners.
This finding from the snapshot is the most encouraging, and since 2020 the attitude among operators has changed when it comes to partnerships. In 2020, half of the respondents thought that no more than 10% of revenue would be generated through partnerships. Half of the respondents now believe that partnerships will generate between 10 and 30% of revenues—a significant rise.
Many now believe that analytics and ‘opening up’ network functions will be the key to success – Amdocs Openet being at the forefront of this initiative. So far, only a few operators have implemented such an intelligence programme that will enable analytics and the introduction of value-added services.
The good news is that the awareness is there, and a significant number of operators are looking at it seriously.
The bad news is that the barriers to implementing standalone 5G and transitioning to a platform approach are the ‘usual suspects’ – a lack of internal resources and the lack of a compelling business case (it is notoriously difficult to build a business case on potential future revenue).
The next two years or so should bring real developments in 5G and hopefully in operators beginning to monetise 5G services via a platform approach. There certainly seems to be a growing awareness and understanding of the benefits and need to move.
And for those operators still unclear about the business cases, they should download the 101 Use Cases eBook, published by Amdocs Openet. It has some great examples and will get those internal conversations going.
The Digital Transformation section of the annual snapshot from Telecoms.com, sponsored by Amdocs Openet, is available here and, together with the eBook, will definitely help with that business case.