A Spectrum Of Opportunities
To keep up with these promises, the telecoms industry must review current 5G implementation strategies and focus beyond higher network capacity and lower latency. While the value proposition of early 5G implementations fits the purpose and the business case of the consumer market, they are far from been optimized to unlock much bigger business opportunities in the enterprise verticals where 5G could be used as a key tool to accelerate their digital transformation. Network implementation flexibility, interoperability with legacy operation processes, cost effectiveness, network determinism, security and reliability will be equally important for the enterprise as improving the network performance.
In fact, 5G is more than just an access technology evolution to LTE, designed to extend network capacity and lowering its latency. 5G should be perceived as a transformation tool capable of supporting flexible implementations and requiring radical architectural changes, for instance collaboration between licensed and unlicensed spectrum, support of both public and private networks, support of various services with different requirements on demand, and bringing intelligence to the edge of the network for better end-user experiences.
5G – when it reaches critical mass in enterprise verticals – will transform the linear telecoms supply chain and partnerships will be vital for success in this new era. 5G will act as a platform on which developers will create new B2B enterprise applications and the role of mobile service providers will evolve from the model as we know it today, basically focusing on connectivity, to one where 5G is positioned a key tool for the industrial digital transformation. Edge computing, network slicing, APIs , and the emergence of new device types– even across mobile service provider networks – will be major components for the future 5G enterprise business.