The current state of 5G falls far short of its promise. While 5G radio is effective in boosting potential throughput, to deliver its true potential, it needs to be much more than just a “faster 4G”. Specifically, it needs to evolve into an enabler of business value and monetization.
To date, CSPs have taken a very cautious approach to 5G. This is hardly surprising, given their limited success monetizing the considerable investments they made in 4G, after the OTTs swooped in to collect the bulk of revenue its connectivity boost provided.
So why will 5G be different?
COVID19 has clearly demonstrated connectivity’s value as a crucial infrastructure. But to maximize 5G’s revenue potential, service providers need to shift from an “infrastructure” to a “platform” mindset. Only then, can they transform themselves from connectivity suppliers to enablers of network-embedded services (NES).
Consider Zoom. Like most OTT services, it is not an overly demanding application, and manages fine with 4G’s “one-size-fits-all” connectivity. Now consider a similar, “future-generation” application that leverages 5G’s enhanced throughput and low latency to enable immersive, AR/VR type interactions. Furthermore, to support lower-priced, leaner devices, this app would require various capabilities to be offloaded from the device and hosted on the edge.
Foreseeably, such apps, with their ability to enable much more lifelike interactions, will become as popular as the videoconferencing apps of today, and most likely with the same incredibly fast adoption rates.
The good news is that this is an opportunity for CSPs to evolve from their traditional relationship with OTTs. The example above demonstrates how these new apps will need the underlying network to support specific requirements, providing traditional operators with a unique opportunity to reposition themselves as stronger, more prominent players in the overall ecosystem. But such a transition requires a tight link and exposure between the business and network, ensuring that each service gets the specific network capabilities it needs throughout each stage of its lifecycle – from service definition and launch to user interaction and monetization.
The 5G Value Plane
To seamlessly enable this exposure, Amdocs introduces the 5G Value Plane. Encompassing charging and policy functions and managed by a centralized catalog, the Value Plane acts as a centralized “5G brain” across business, IT and network, and includes enriched data and monetization for the expanded 5G ecosystem.
The 5G Value Plane enables service providers to dynamically leverage their new 5G network assets and tailor them to their diverse application requirements, providing an agility that is key to reacting quickly and launching innovative services to the market, while continuously ensuring their performance. Furthermore, it empowers these players to adopt public cloud business models in their network, supporting on-demand, real-time consumption of a wide range of resources and services, with innovative pricing and real-time exposure.
The lessons of 4G’s rollout should remain a stark reminder to service providers that to fully leverage their 5G assets for innovative monetization, they must adopt a clear 5G mindset from the start. The 5G Value Plane is the key first step in achieving this goal, enabling them to begin creating differentiated and innovative offerings from the word “go”, while ensuring “monetizational readiness” for the 5G next-gen experiences that lie around the corner.
For more information on the value plane please visit: https://www.amdocs.com/5g-value-plane