Imagine a future where nearly every machine is connected to ubiquitous, high-speed mobile networks that empower a new world of real-time experiences. Think of cars that safely drive themselves, buildings that regulate their electrical and water systems, and doctors that monitor patients’ vital signs and make diagnoses remotely in real time. This is the promise of the next generation of mobile technology known as 5G, and it’s already being rolled out in some parts of the world.
Syniverse has been right in the thick of helping both mobile operators and enterprises prepare for 5G, and as one of our most recent initiatives, we unveiled the results of a major 5G study at MWC Barcelona earlier this year. To prepare for the seismic shift this technology is bringing to the mobile landscape, we conducted a study to assess one of the big unknowns with 5G: How will mobile operators actually begin to make use of 5G to provide new services for enterprises, and how important a part will these services play in operators’ business models?
The findings from our 5G study along with other recent customer work point to several crucial insights that MEA operators should use to prepare as they proceed with their 5G rollouts. MEA’s large population, surging mobile data use, and lack of fixed-line internet connectivity in regions such as Africa offer a sizable opportunity for 5G in the next few years, and we’re looking forward to helping mobile operators and enterprises make the most of this new technology standard.
Study: Operators Looking Forward to 5G, but not Prepared for It
To find out how operators will use 5G to deliver new services for enterprises and how important these services will be in operators’ business models, we partnered with Heavy Reading to conduct a global survey of operators and better understand their 5G preparations. We found that despite operators’ enthusiasm for opening new revenue streams with enterprises and their optimism in taking a leading role in providing new 5G enterprise services, there are several concerns about whether these operators are in a position to realize these goals.
Here are some of our findings:
What this means for MEA is that many operators are optimistic about driving new revenues from enterprise 5G opportunities. At the same time, many have yet to develop the underlying payment, partnership, and interoperability systems that will allow a 5G ecosystem to monetize itself and flourish.
Importantly, 5G represents a significantly expanded ecosystem in terms of technology components, stakeholders, and spheres of influence for both the enterprise and consumer domains. For this reason, building effective partnerships across the board will be key to the full monetization of 5G.
Key Factors for 5G Rollout
In addition to our study, through our recent customer work and industry participation, we have identified several additional factors that will be critical to successful 5G rollout in MEA.
MEA will soon see a dynamic phase of mobile development with unprecedented demands for high-speed, high-capacity networks. 5G will be crucial in enabling this phase. However, based on our latest study and recent customer work, despite operators’ enthusiasm for new 5G enterprise services and revenue streams, it’s important that they prepare for 5G’s future challenges as much as its present ones.