It is expected that mobile network operators to realise an additional USD 85 billion in revenues by end of 2021 through the deployment and enhancement of non-core services, including Big Data analytics and IoT (Internet of Things) enablement,a recent research paper informs.
Moreover, there was a significant opportunity for operators to move beyond connectivity provision through selling customer data to clients in both raw and packaged (analysed) forms, according to the 'Mobile Operator Business Models: Challenges, Opportunities & Strategies 2017-2021' report issued by Juniper Research.
It suggested that operators could monetise data models including pay-per usage, metered usage and results-based fees. In turn, clients would benefit from significant cost efficiencies and/or additional value per customer, resulting in a demonstrable ROI (Return on Investment) on the analytics package.
The research added that for operators to maximise their monetisation potential from IoT device connectivity and enablement, they would need to ensure that their forthcoming 5G networks are optimised for a multitude of connected devices.
It recommended that operators follow the example of players such as AT&T, Telefonica and NTT DoCoMo, which have set stringent targets for network virtualisation. Using this approach, operators can facilitate customisation for individual clients while also reducing expenditure.
However, the research warned that the backhaul capacity of 5G networks will need to be markedly higher than for predecessor technologies to cope with increased traffic passing through the cells. According to research author Dr Windsor Holden, “Upscaling capacity requires a radical reappraisal of backhaul techniques so the cost per Mbps is significantly reduced from its current (3G/4G) level.”
The research suggested that the need for ‘ultra-low’ latency applications could be addressed by MEC (Mobile Edge Computing) solutions overlaid onto the radio access network, with hosted apps also benefitting from real-time network information.