A Balanced Approach to Monetizing Innovations
By Sergey Karpov, Chief Commercial Officer of Nexign
Communications service providers (CSPs) play a critical role in the digital economy as they adopt new technologies and make them available to a wide audience. They heavily invest in infrastructure by deploying 5G networks and launching satellite communications and fixed wireless access (FWA). Accordingly, they provide next-level communications for people across the world and give new digital opportunities. For example, STC has invested $1 billion in MENA HUB, a project designed to improve regional connectivity and infrastructure to support Saudi Arabia’s rapidly expanding digital and cloud sector. It gave the locals access to fast, reliable connections and diverse digital services for social and economic well-being.
Under these conditions, CSPs should develop an efficient strategy for monetizing investments and benefiting from the implemented technologies. It involves achieving a balance between flexibility and openness to the realization of new ideas and business efficiency.
Flexibility Arises at the Network Level
5G accelerates the development of innovative offerings and consumption of digital services. According to GSMA Intelligence, 5G users are more interested in adding digital services and entertainment content to their mobile contracts compared to 4G users (50% for 5G users across the nine categories of add-ons compared to 38% for 4G users). At the same time, Analysys Mason’s research states that 5G connections will increase from 2 billion in 2023 to nearly 4 billion in 2026. Similarly, 5G revenue is expected to grow from approximately $400 billion worldwide in 2023 to almost $700 billion by 2026. At this point, it will represent 70% of all wireless revenue.
5G gives CSPs almost endless opportunities to launch new services, and providers should become more flexible in improving their subscribers’ loyalty through personalization. In particular, CSPs can manage the quality of services provided to a subscriber at the network segment level. In this case, several network slices can be simultaneously connected for different services on a subscriber’s device. For instance, a CSP can provide an ultra-low latency dedicated slice for monitoring the operation of equipment in production, a dedicated slice with a guaranteed increased speed for online broadcasting of a football match and free traffic sponsored by an advertiser, and a regular connection for the rest of the traffic.
Besides, 5G technologies open even more opportunities in the B2B segment. 5G-based projects help digitalize airports, seaports, coal mines, and other businesses. For instance, China is introducing automated technology to enhance the efficiency and safety of its coal mining industry by implementing 5G technology to replace part of underground workers with machines. This approach helps decrease mining costs and the death rate among miners. In general, 5G helps move away from the “one network fits all” idea and maximize the personalization and differentiation of network services based on each subscriber’s unique needs. It also allows CSPs to use any technical network’s parameter to monetize the service.
Similarly, it is important to mention the possibility of realizing 5G ideas in 4G networks. Nexign offers products for 4G and 5G NSA networks to help CSPs prioritize traffic for different applications, analyze network congestion, and monitor QoS for partner traffic. For instance, Nexign PCRF helps prioritize traffic for a specific device or application, thus implementing the 5G idea of network slicing. Also, Nexign RCAF fulfills the functions of 5G network analytics and provides a detailed analysis of network overload.
Launching New Lines of Business: Focus on Efficiency
In the digital, everything happens quickly, as ideas are quickly born, tested, and implemented. Despite participating in this rate race on an equal footing with digital-born companies, CSPs should think about the most efficient and cost-effective way to launch new business lines and services while also escaping chaos in business processes and internal systems.
One of the promising areas developing side-by-side with 5G is the internet of things (IoT). IoT has great potential for CSPs, as it helps them play diverse roles in the value chain. As such, they can act as IoT connectivity providers, service enablers, and end-to-end service providers. For example, CSPs are vital for the rapidly expanding IoT ecosystem in MENA, where IoT applications are often focused on smart city solutions and aim to improve the quality of urban living and the environmental impact of cities.
IoT business should always be based on a platform that lets CSPs effectively manage subscribers and products and maximize monetization opportunities. On the one hand, the IoT business is complex and includes devices, customers, partners, etc. On the other hand, its profitability remains low. Therefore, CSPs should build a single system that increases the flexibility of IoT management while remaining cost-efficient.
In the digital, monetizing innovations is impossible without value co-creation with partners. Collaboration can have various formats, including creating bundles, providing network capabilities to third-party companies and developers, and organizing marketplaces. For example, CSPs can partner with vendors, such as cloud service and IT platform providers, digital service providers, media and gaming providers, and device manufacturers. Indeed, CSPs can succeed only by establishing numerous partnerships and considering different partnership models, including multiple settlement models, such as revenue sharing, one-time fees, tiered plans for customers, etc. Therefore, it is not surprising that according to TM Forum, CSPs prioritize solutions for efficient monetization and partner management. They help improve business efficacy by automating each step of working with partners.
Along with BSS, infrastructure solutions can also simplify and speed up partner onboarding. For example, Nexign Microservices Framework helps drive partner ecosystem growth and create new digital services for customers and subscribers while significantly reducing time to market.
Regardless of whether a CSP decides to be a provider of comprehensive connectivity services based on 5G, a leading IoT enabler in a certain vertical, or a digital ecosystem provider, we give them reliable software to monetize any line of business and any generation of mobile networks. We are also ready to support our clients on their path of business transformation, as we have extensive experience in implementing large-scale projects for Tier-1 CSPs.
Nexign’s network core solutions ensure the seamless operation of network functions for all generations of communications (3G-5G SA). We help CSPs support and monetize new generations of mobile networks while also developing current LTE services. For example, Nexign Revenue Management lifts barriers for telcos’ efficient business growth, ensuring operational flexibility not limited by vendor or technology, and gives CSPs opportunities for unlimited revenue growth. Besides, Nexign’s 5G products let CSPs support charging, policy management, and signaling traffic routing for 5G SA networks, and Nexign IoT Connectivity Platform helps automate core business processes in the IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) market.