In the first few years of 5G, telco networks and technology teams held the “baton of responsibility” to implement the underlying 5G new radio and core infrastructure. However, with new launches hitting the market, that baton is quickly passing to telco commercial teams who have a responsibility to move beyond the early hype and build out a sustainable monetization model.
Along the positioning continuum, which at one end has 5G placed as “just another G” and at the other considers it a quantum leap in mobility, lies the future success of the telco model.
This is not an overstatement. With simple connectivity being a commodity traded on price, achieving both a sustainable price uplift and attracting consumers to switch from 4G, will require a “wow factor.” Whatever that element is, it must reach far beyond early adopters who will be pointed to as a sign of early uptake victory, but whose overall impact on sustainable 5G success will be temporal.
Crucially, 5G does offer a number of monetization levers covering bandwidth, capacity, latency, quality of service, networking slicing and spectrum. These levers make a compelling toolkit to monetize consumer, enterprise, industry and IoT segments, as they have not been available in previous mobile generations to the level that they are in 5G. Furthermore, they should be seen as underlying tools to deliver the quantum leap in mobility mentioned earlier, and not only simple offerings that will leave the perception of 5G just being “another G.”
A de-facto standard of rich, agile and layered services, available on-demand with digital customer self-help (powered by 5G) would support telcos in re-imagining their go-to-market service model. Leading with services such as online gaming, smart family packages and rich geolocation-based offerings will move the perception needle towards the quantum leap end of the 5G positioning continuum.
When these services are intertwined with a digital-first delivery model that automates service delivery, it re-engineers the cost-to-serve dynamic, making a sustained margin model more realizable. On the other hand, if the industry repeats the mistakes of the past, they will end up in a costly race to the bottom where paying down these huge 5G investments will become a lengthier burden on the business.
To assess the state of 5G positioning, MATRIXX Software recently commissioned Strategy Analytics to undertake a unique two-sided qualitative research activity. Both end-users, via study groups, and key members of global telco commercial teams were interviewed to discover where current thinking lies on both sides of the equation. The research looked at a number of fundamental 5G positioning and pricing angles to declare what those positions were and how close the alignment is between the two perceptions.
The results of the report will be shared in a live webinar on Thursday 26th of September at 2pm UK, 9am EST, registration link here.