Service Providers are Positioned to take
Industries to the Next Level

By: Shirin Esfandiari

Regardless of industry, we can all agree that technology is evolving rapidly and changing the way we work. Real-time communications, IoT, automation, and analytics underpin these transformations across sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, and hospitality.

Underestimated in Industry 4.0, however, are the massive points of inertia in the IoT market, and the amount of integration work required for enterprises to actually stitch together a vertical solution.

That’s not to say that the work isn’t well worth the effort. A recent survey by Omdia of more than 4,500 enterprises across 56 countries demonstrates that almost 91 percent of enterprises have seen their IoT investments either live up to or exceed expectations. And cloud-based technologies and real-time communications have been a catalyst for industries to meet their digital aspirations and better serve their customers. Through partnerships with industry players, telecom operators are well-positioned to extend into adjacent industries (and specific segments) to offer communications-enabled industry solutions bundled together with connectivity services — i.e., to finally expand beyond connectivity and diversify their revenue streams.

Why Should Telecom Operators Consider Focusing on Specific Industry Segments?

It is becoming increasingly evident that the telecom value chain is transforming as cloud native technology unlocks new possibilities. It may be bold to claim that the arrival of the cloud is changing the value chain of telecoms and, therefore, the monetization opportunities available to operators, but the 5G network is proof of this. The fact that 5G is driving the disaggregation of the network, separating the physical elements of the mobile network that can’t be virtualized from the software components that can, creates fundamental choices for telecoms operators. Re-designing software elements of the network into an open, programmable, and cloud-native platform will be key to supporting the monetization of networks in the future. It will also power CSPs business operations with end-to-end automation capabilities to fully support the digital interactions with their ecosystem of customers and partners.

There lies a remarkable opportunity to expand revenue streams beyond the operator’s existing customer base. This potential is not just theoretical but achievable through strategic collaborations and embracing digital innovation — an avenue that holds immense promise for telecom operators seeking sustained growth.

To realize this ambition on a significant scale, the widespread adoption of programmable platforms must be preceded by accelerated investment in cloud native networks and cloud-based technologies with automation and exposure capabilities so that CSPs can continue the transformation of their networks and operations.

Furthermore, end-to-end network programmability that extends from the public cloud and centralized core networks through to the metro edge, and eventually to the industrial edge, will be paramount to enable low latency connectivity for industrial applications.

Finally, CSPs will have a significant need to ingest, store, and analyze the large volumes of data generated by cloud native networks. Hence, data management and analytics tools must support real-time analytics and enable the correlation of data from multiple network and operations domains. AI tools will be essential for overcoming the complexity of managing interactions between applications, business operations, and the network as CSPs continue to evolve.

Yet, the realm of possibilities extends far beyond connectivity alone. Collaborating to deliver vertical industry applications tailored to specific enterprise requirements opens doors to a broader market segment. This collaborative approach not only distinguishes operators from connectivity-centric competitors but also fosters deeper loyalty among enterprise customers. While venturing into industry solutions may seem daunting, the rewards can be substantial. The Omdia survey also highlighted the importance of IoT in digital transformation, with 88 percent of respondents considering it core to their initiatives. Additionally, 95 percent expected measurable benefits from IoT within


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