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5G use cases – key to success is platforms, partnerships, people

Use cases for 5G have been emerging for some years now. Yet it still seems as if telcos are not quite sure which direction to choose.

Many have chosen the enterprise route, with mixed success and unexpected competition, and are now, with 5G Standalone, faced with many options.

What is needed is a document with a comprehensive list of examples and ideas for discussion.

Openet, now Amdocs’ networking services division, has been producing use cases for several years. In the past, they have compiled and collated the best policy and BSS use cases. More recently, the papers have moved towards strategy.

Now we have the latest 5G use cases, in eBook form, with practical examples and some good, solid ideas that will help telcos have that ‘aha’ moment, find solutions that play to their strengths and provide ideas for 5G monetisation.

The Use Cases for 5G are not just about enterprise or consumer; the paper covers a range of areas that some telcos have successfully addressed through partnerships and transitioning to a flexible, open, ‘platform’ mentality.

The paper covers 5G enterprise; TV and Media; Group and Share; Loyalty and Upsell; Analytics opportunities; financial services, and Covid related solutions that have helped customers in the pandemic.

Telcos are now enabling innovation in TV and Media. For instance, in Malaysia, Yoodo (powered by Celcom) has introduced a post-paid plan that includes a customer’s choice of 20 well-known apps, along with a 20GB allowance per group of apps.

With pricing and innovation, the best ideas are simple when it comes to consumers, and the trick is to be crystal clear in what you are offering.

Of course, 5G will usher in opportunities enabled by VR and AR, and there are compelling Use Cases for gaming and live events (now, your TV gives you a choice of just a few viewpoints for a soccer game. Imagine thousands).

We had become a little cynical in the days when 5G was still being hyped, and not much action seemed to be taking place, but now the Openet eBook reports 5G enabling drones doing more and more vital work. Rescue and recovery work is one obvious avenue but also think of bridge maintenance as an example. The cost of closing lanes and the equipment and skills needed to inspect a bridge are huge. A drone using 5G to monitor and report on many aspects of a bridge’s integrity is a huge step forward in the world of safety.

There are, as you might expect in a comprehensive paper on Use Cases for 5G, what you might refer to as the ‘usual suspects’. These include autonomous, 5G enabled shuttles in Canada, remote diagnosis and (apparently) surgery in China, innovations in virtual (and therefore real) tourism, and breakthroughs in medical research.

There are also tried and tested Use Cases for the practical application of analytics to increase loyalty and customer retention and predictive analytics for better customer experience.

Several Use Cases have been triggered by the pandemic, where telcos have played a significant role in our lives over the last two years, not least in making it easier and affordable to stay connected (Optus) and some emerging, innovative solutions for new, hybrid ways of working.

Fundamentally what this paper, full of Use Cases for 5G (and 4G for an extent), shows is that telcos do not need to reinvent themselves to be relevant, useful and attractive. It shows that, if there was any lingering doubt, partnerships are the key to success, and a telco’s platform will be the launch pad on which that success is achieved.

As General Manager Niall Norton says, “nowadays, no one can do it alone.” Disruptive.Asia

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