Beyond connectivity: Mobile operators eye $85 billion in non-core services

Mobile network operators can realize an additional $85 billion in revenues over the next five years through the deployment and enhancement of non-core services, including big data analytics and IoT (Internet of Things) enablement. This is according to a new study from Juniper Research.

Monetizing data

The new research – Mobile Operator Business Models: Challenges, Opportunities & Strategies 2017-2021 – argues that there is a significant opportunity for operators to move beyond connectivity provision through selling customer data to clients in both raw and packaged (analyzed) forms.

It suggests that operators could monetize 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.

See our practical advice for operators looking to monetiza data here.

The research adds that for operators to maximize their monetization potential from IoT device connectivity and enablement, they will need to ensure that their forthcoming 5G networks are optimized for a multitude of connected devices.

It recommends that operators follow the example of players such as AT&T, Telefonica and NTT DoCoMo, which have set stringent targets for network virtualization.

“Using this approach, operators can facilitate customization for individual clients while also reducing expenditure,” the report finds.

5G networks

The research also warns 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 suggests 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 benefiting from real-time network information.


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    Sarah is a freelance writer and editor with an interest in new technologies and how they impact our everyday lives.

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