In the first post in this series, I explored the rise of 5G Telco networks and how they open the door to unprecedented possibilities and new capabilities for enterprises. In this latest post, I will explore how 5G technologies enable new Telco solutions that go far beyond connectivity.
From the outset, it’s important to note that the 5G network is more than just a big pipe that carries traffic at high speeds. While it is all of that, 5G at the same time opens up new opportunities for applications that require high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity. Telecommunications providers who are rolling out 5G networks are uniquely positioned to capitalize on these opportunities, and to help their enterprise customers do the same.
Building on the 5G foundation and close relationships with enterprises, Telcos can now serve as a one-stop shop that offers not just connectivity but also content distribution, media creation and other innovative solutions that create new revenue streams.
The network is the foundation for new 5G-enabled services.
At the core of every enterprise application is an ecosystem that enables connectivity between apps and the enterprise. Telcos are a key piece of the puzzle here. With the evolution to 5G, Telco providers gain greater flexibility to support specific capabilities for new applications and use cases, and to create new revenue streams from the same technology infrastructure.
5G is largely an open architecture, one that looks more like a traditional IT infrastructure in the core than today’s 4G architectures. This openness enables expanded uses of the network infrastructure and new application-specific use cases. Containerized and virtualized applications allow providers to deploy multiple workloads on a single system. The same infrastructure and containerized applications can run traditional network packet core and functions as well as new enterprise workloads.
Through this evolution, the Telco network goes from hardware dedicated to traditional network services to a multipurpose network foundation that can run new workloads and can dynamically shift resources back and forth based on the workloads and available capacity. In other words, Telcos can put their excess capacity to work to run enterprise applications, and later shift back to use the same capacity for internal workloads. At the same time, they can use their 5G foundation to offer multi-tenant and Edge clouds.
Solutions drive opportunities for new revenue streams through connectivity.
Many solutions that were only possible in a proof-of-concept state with LTE networks are not viable for production without the higher-bandwidth and lower-latency connectivity of 5G networks. For example, remote medical surgery, autonomous vehicles, targeted real-time marketing and augmented reality require the instantaneous reliable connectivity of 5G networks.
With the bandwidth, speed and flexibility of 5G networks, telecom providers can integrate their connectivity services into industry-specific applications. That’s the case with autonomous vehicles and other forms of private mobility, which require the high bandwidth and low latency of 5G.
5G integration will also serve as a key enabler of new telemedicine services and home health monitoring devices that require continuous connectivity between the device and the healthcare provider. These devices will automatically upload readings to the healthcare provider’s electronic medical record (EMR) system, providing doctors with a current view of patient vitals.
To drive new revenue streams, start from the outcome and work your way back.
So how do you get started down this path to new 5G-enabled revenue streams? At Dell Technologies, we advise customers to begin with a targeted business outcome and work back to the technology that makes it all possible. This approach looks like this:
Outcome Use Case Solution Technology
The outcome is the goal in a business sense. For example, a healthcare provider might drive toward enabling patients to get the care they need without leaving their homes and coming into a clinical setting.
The use case here would be effective telemedicine coupled with remote patient monitoring. The solution that enables this use case would be 5G-enabled devices that accurately track and continuously transmit the patient’s vital signs, blood sugar levels and other health and wellness measurements. These devices would build in SIM cards that connect with the backend ecosystem and provider’s EMR. The end-to-end solution would encompass cloud services, containerized applications and data security features.
The key is to start with a clear understanding of the targeted outcomes and use case, and then work on the solution and technology to make it happen. Otherwise, just starting with technology might result in an unmarketable or incomplete solution.
Using this methodology, clear success criteria are identified early in the process.
Once an understanding of the desired outcomes and use cases are defined, it’s time to identify the definition of success, in terms of criteria for measuring clear results.
Different projects have different success criteria. Sometimes revenue targets will be in the top criteria for success — but not always. Project success might be as simple as proving that the solution and technology chosen will allow organizations to achieve desired outcomes.
While different organizations will have different criteria for success, all organizations should map out success criteria in a measurable way.
Technology is mapped back to the solution to meet the desired outcome.
As part of this process, it’s important to map individual technology choices to solutions and desired outcomes. For example, some technology options and partners might have restrictions that prevent use in certain geographic regions. Other technology success factors might include the availability of products in certain regions, the availability of the right financing models, the ability of the product to meet revenue targets, the viability of the technology partner, and government restrictions and regulations.
The key is to ensure that the technologies chosen not only meet technical requirements but also align with targeted outcomes.
Thinking about solutions in terms of “as a service” drives new recurring revenue streams.
The value of 5G solutions can be greatly magnified by as-a-service models that drive recurring revenue streams over time. To that end, look for opportunities to build a catalog to sell solutions as a service. These solutions can also be one of the keys to building customer loyalty by helping organizations access the services needed in an affordable and flexible manner, without having to put together a team of experts to build and operate the service.
For Telcos, the next evolution of the telecommunications network opens opportunities to deliver innovative solutions and services that create new revenue streams. The companies poised for greatest success in the 5G era will recognize the opportunity and seize the day by developing outcome-driven solutions and making them available as a service.
If your organization is on this path, Dell Technologies is an ideal partner. Our Telco practice includes a dedicated team of architects, engineers, sales and other professionals who are ready to work with you to understand your desired outcomes and targeted use cases, and then design and build your solutions based on the right technologies to jointly take to market.
To learn more
In the next post in this blog series, we will dive down into a customer case study that highlights the development of successful solutions built on 5G and Edge technologies.
In the meantime, to explore 5G-enabled Edge solutions, and to learn how different industries are putting them to work to drive measurable outcomes, visit DellTechnologies.com/Edge, or see how 5G is Powered by Intel.
Douglas Lieberman is a Global Solutions Director for Dell Technologies.
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