It’s easy to feel a bit sorry for 5G: its potential is enormous, but it was dealt a massive PR blow over the past two years thanks to hare-brained conspiracies and misinformation linking it to the transmission of Covid.
Thankfully, these ideas seem to have evaporated, and cell towers appear to be safe. But it put something of a damper on a major telecommunications upgrade.
Even so, adoption doesn’t seem to be a problem: the GSM Association has predicted that, by 2025, 5G networks will have over 1.7 billion subscribers worldwide, and 92% of telcos are planning 5G deployment by 2022.
While the move to 5G brings about major improvements in latency and reliability, it also poses substantial challenges for CSPs.
OTT applications - a perennial “frenemy” of telcos - will only have greater ability to monopolize consumers’ attention. When 3G hit the scene, consumers got their first taste of truly mobile internet, with video chat, streaming music and on-the-go gaming. 4G took all those distractions and made them HD.
5G is only going to strengthen OTT applications further.
Then there are the twin forces of technological development and customer expectations. Once the floodgates open, telcos will be vulnerable to falling behind in tech sophistication, and risk not living up to the demands of the public, which poses a challenge to their bottom line.
Here are 3 ways that telcos can prepare to maximize ROI from 5G:
Make sure your OMS is up to the challenge
5G is going to demand a lot from your Order Management System.
Its high speed and low latency means your customers will expect changes to be made in seconds as opposed to minutes or hours. So you need to ensure your ordering systems are flexible and dynamic enough to handle constant and frequent changes.
5G also brings in the need for telcos to have high levels of automation in their order management systems for zero-touch provisioning as manual processes don’t provide the essential fast and agile support.
Furthermore, thanks to the Internet of Things, you need to be prepared for orders to come from multiple sources – not just us humans. On top of this, your orders will need to be updated in real-time with the ability to make MACD requests to ongoing subscriptions at scale.
Learn more about CloudSense's Bulk Subscriber Management feature here.
Build a truly digital backbone
As CloudSense CTO Alex Fuller said in a recent interview with Total Telecom, CSPs need to ensure that they have implemented a truly digital backbone to their business to help them not only streamline their order management and fulfilment, but also respond with speed to changes in demand and emerging opportunities in the market:
“New capabilities such as network slicing only serve to increase the drive towards automation and digitization of processes that ensure an organization can sustain the level of granularity and complexity in the product space for customer demand.
It is equally important to address the commercial layer: you need to be able to come up with product offerings, and ensure the business agility is there to adapt, respond and innovate in the market to take advantage of the opportunities at hand.”
Leverage your OMS and digital backbone towards IoT
When it comes to IoT, 5G will be truly revolutionary, with its ability to support massive numbers of simultaneous connections with very low latency.
With 85% of companies planning to use 5G for future IoT efforts, IoT communications is an extremely popular target use case for 5G.
But once again, that digital backbone is key to maximizing the potential for IoT, says Fuller:
“IoT is interesting because of the volumes involved. But highly automated and properly digitized operations are needed to enable that kind of scale. Being able to process not just bulk, but bulk changes at scale efficiently is also key. Where there are disconnects and manual interventions in process, then the pain and cost can quickly grow.”
To truly make the most of 5G (and avoid slipping behind), it goes all the way down to a CSPs fundamentals: a robust OMS, extensive digitization and automation, as well as the ability to handle unprecedented volumes of data.