Now is the time to evolve the business toward platform business models in order to provide network capabilities that support the digital transformation underway in most businesses and industries. Already today, we have a powerful technology foundation in place, and this will become even stronger with 5G.
Business model transformation
Digitalization is one of the most powerful shifts in our time. It is characterized by a wide variety of smart devices and applications that touch all possible areas of life. New technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), wearables, and robotics are driving business processes to become more distributed, more connected, and real-time optimized.
For many years, telecom operators have delivered end-to-end (E2E) standardized services to consumers under long-term contracts and they competed within national boundaries. Now, networks must be based on a horizontal platform on which businesses can consume network services similar to the current as-a-service (aaS) model used today by other parts of the ICT sector.
Digital transformation must support a broad spectrum of user scenarios, where coverage, speed, latency, and security are key parameters and where a high level of automation and governance is required to meet the performance and response requirements of users. Rich configuration variances and more-complex services will in many cases push demand beyond the capability of a single provider, requiring a more collaborative framework
Examples of these type of services are massive machine-type communication (massive IoT), mission-critical machine-type communication (mission-critical IoT), and extreme mobile broadband services.
The digital connectivity marketplace
Multisided platforms bring together two or more distinct but interdependent groups of consumers and suppliers. Such a platform creates value by facilitating interactions and matchmaking between different groups. The connectivity services of 5G will be realized by means of network slicing.
Digitalization of enterprises’ business and operations also requires various cloud-based services such as computation and storage, where companies’ operations and business applications can be hosted, deployed, and operated or where enterprises can benefit from the cloud services’ capabilities offered in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model.
The services exposed in the marketplace could be supplied by multiple producers owning the networks and infrastructures required to produce these services.
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