Liberated from the constraints of previous technologies, this transition to 5G SA holds the promise to finally unleash the long-discussed, yet rarely tested, power of 5G, with the hope that it will entice users to reap – and pay for – its benefits.
The much-lauded features of 5G, including low latency, high speed, extensive coverage, increased capacity and density, along with capabilities like network slicing, edge distribution and cloud-style flexibility, are just beginning to reveal their full potential. And while it may be difficult to directly monetize these individual features, there is significant promise in offering them as part of service bundles that include gaming, virtual reality, or in-vehicle connectivity services that incorporate 5G features. This will hold even more true as feature-driven opportunities expand, with their promise of both significant complexity and potential monetization driven by service bundles created through the power of AI.
But as service diversity gains momentum, charging systems will need to increase both their capabilities and responsiveness in order to support these capabilities. This means satisfying evolving demands of both B2C and B2B sectors, and accommodating the growing array of communication features seamlessly. Importantly, the charging infrastructure is not only complementary but integral for the viability and seamless delivery of these services. In very many cases, it’s even indispensable. To navigate new opportunities effectively, charging systems will therefore need to possess three essential attributes: velocity, scalability and flexibility. Let’s look at them in more detail:
- Velocity: This is the technical cadence of the charging platform. It encompasses initial adjustments or consolidation as needed, but more crucially, the agility to update and extend capabilities to align with emerging value chains. This includes features like low-code and no-code, ultimately focusing on reducing system time-to-value.
- Scale: Increasingly, success will be defined by the system’s capacity to seamlessly expand or contract within the chosen cloud environment, whether public, private or hybrid. This scalability must encompass critical aspects such as security, reliability, performance and latency, particularly as service requirements move closer to the edge.
- Versatility: The era of 5G will demand service portfolios to channel innovation to evolve more rapidly than ever, with charging an integral part of all emerging services and service components – aligning with the move away from monolithic technology stacks. Services should be driven by business teams closely attuned to customer needs and equipped with agile tools to deliver value as soon as new concepts arise.
In short, charging must become increasingly responsive and inherent to the rapid deployment of a multitude of emerging services. Furthermore, it should be propelled by its essential velocity, scale and versatility, while positioning itself as an indispensable requirement for early 5G achievements. Most importantly though, it needs to be able to seamlessly accommodate any imagined service or combination of services. In this context, the prioritization, fusion, activation and monetization of 5G features in innovative ways will accelerate the realization of 5G’s monetization potential, ushering in a transition from mere discussions to tangible, revenue-generating services.
To delve deeper into how charging engines, together with their essential charging capabilities can help you maximize 5G’s potential, read Appledore’s paper: Charging Systems for Standalone 5G – a new paradigm for monetization.