Why mobile operators need to take advantage of the next Internet of Things opportunity
As the array of mobile services and delivery devices continues to evolve, mobile network operator competition has intensified. With many over-the-top players now providing popular alternatives to texting and voice calls, telecom service provider core revenues are eroding.
Meanwhile, Juniper Research has calculated that mobile network operators can capture 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 the Internet of Things (IoT).
MNO market development opportunities
The new research found that there was a significant opportunity for mobile network operators to move beyond connectivity provisioning, by selling their customer data to clients in both raw and analysed forms.
They could monetise data models, including pay-per usage, metered usage and results-based fees. Besides, clients would likely benefit from these offerings, resulting in a demonstrable return on investment for the analytics package.
However, for operators to maximise their potential from IoT device connectivity and enablement, they would need to ensure that their forthcoming 5G networks are fully optimised for a multitude of connected devices.
According to the Juniper assessment, mobile network operators should follow the example of AT&T, Telefonica and NTT DoCoMo, which have set stringent targets for network virtualisation. Using this approach, operators can facilitate customisation for individual clients while also reducing expenditure.
Outlook for IoT and big data revenues
That said, the Juniper market study findings indicate that the backhaul capacity of 5G networks will need to be much higher than for predecessor technologies, in order to cope with the anticipated increased traffic passing through the cell sites.
"Upscaling capacity requires a radical reappraisal of backhaul techniques so the cost per Mbps is significantly reduced from its current (3G/4G) level," said Dr Windsor Holden, head of forecasting & consultancy at Juniper Research.
The need for ultra-low latency applications could be addressed by 'mobile edge computing' solutions overlaid onto the mobile radio access network, with hosted apps also benefiting from real-time network information.
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