Telcos have constantly complained of dwindling resources from their connectivity offerings as well as fierce competitions from other players within the technology space. Besides, mobile voice calls are declining in some parts of the world, and consumers are generally unwilling to pay more for data services.
Even though 5G presents new business opportunities through verticals like the automotive industry, health care, and agriculture, telcos are generally unclear on the right business models to develop to reap the full benefits of these new opportunities. Besides, telcos also worry about the huge investments needed to migrate their networks from 4G to 5G.
The virtualization and softwarisation of 5G networks would no doubt trigger the development of new business models which were otherwise impossible with previous generations. In view of the future trend, I hereby highlight some business models that may present opportunities to telcos looking to diversify their offerings.
Here, besides the traditional provision of connectivity services, telcos can guarantee clients a 24/7 connectivity service through an automatic diversion onto their mobile data services during outages.
Connectivity + Data Storage + Analytics
Besides, connectivity, telcos could offer data storage services as well as data analytics applications to interested clients. Recently, some telcos (e.g. MTN) have begun acquiring data centres, as such telcos could easily diversify into this area of opportunity.
Connectivity + Security
Here, telcos can offer clients the opportunity to secure their infrastructures as part of their offerings. This would perhaps require telcos to employ a dedicated team of cyber security professionals who would help deliver this new offering.
Connectivity + Cloud
For small companies and enterprises, telcos could provide them with cloud storage services as part of the connectivity offerings. This may require telcos to partner with cloud storage companies to offer this service.
Connectivity + Business Services
Telcos could also combine connectivity services with business services like business advice from seasoned consultants, facilitating meetings with leading industry experts, and professional service providers that may help organisations meet and fulfil their commercial obligations.
These business models can be implemented in both older and newer networks (2G, 3G, 4G). However, 5G will lead to a flurry of business opportunities which would prove beneficial to telcos looking to diversify their offerings.