5G is not dependent on consumer subscription of services like the wireless generations before it. With decreasing average revenues from consumers in developed markets, U.S. mobile operators (60%) are shifting the focus to enterprise use cases to make money on the evolution to 5G.
The insights provided here show a regional overview of how U.S. operators are approaching 5G, including the preparedness, challenges and opportunities. The data is an extraction of responses by U.S. mobile operators from a global survey and follow-up analysis by research firm Heavy Reading on behalf of Syniverse.
Whether it’s a connected car or connected factory, adding new enterprise players and partners will create a complex web of fiscal responsibility. A new world that supports universal commerce is needed to ensure the plethora of new technologies and players that 5G requires can all coexist and interoperate, universally.
While there’s high expectations from operators to lead 5G ecosystems, there’s also a lack of payment system infrastructure in place to support the complexities of multi-party coordination, revenue-sharing and security challenges.
If the appropriate parties don’t get paid in this universal world of doing business, enterprise use-cases will quickly crumble. Gaining control of the payment system will ensure mobile operators provide a central and critical role in the 5G ecosystem beyond offering now-comedized connectivity services.
To help mitigate these challenges and cash in on the opportunities, nearly 90% of operators are looking to blockchain-backed universal commerce to help parties determine how revenues will be attributed, shared and reconciled – all in real-time. The results below explain why.
5G multi-party billing, charging and contracts can be managed in real-time with secure, private blockchain services
- By 2024, nearly 90% (87%) plan to have initial commercial implementation of blockchain for billing, settlement, contract management.
- 87% of respondents identify security and immutability of ecosystem transactions as a the most important features. This is followed closely by the ability to onboard new partners (83%), facilitate contracts (73%), and allocate revenue between all partners (73%).
5G revenue challenges will be brought on by not gaining control of the payment system
- U.S. respondents described coordinating multiple partners in a go-to-market implementation as the most difficult of the revenue challenges associated with 5G (73%).
- Next was maintaining service quality (70%), followed by these at 67% implementing revenue-sharing mechanisms across partners, and regulation.
Shocking number of operators not prepared for 5G multi-party billing and charging
- Surprisingly, only 13% of respondents say that their current systems are capable of supporting multi-party billing, reconciliation and payment needed for 5G. And 53% said their systems will need to be evolved quite a bit beyond minor updates.
- 53% say they have not yet identified, or are only just beginning to identify, their technical requirements for multi-party billing, reconciliation, and payment.
- 77% of respondents see accuracy of data as the biggest challenge for 5G multi-party billing. A similar number (73%) see revenue assurance for billing, and settlement the same way.
In addition to safeguarding the payment system with blockchain, operators focus on securing all the ‘things” connected via 5G
Among the various ways to safeguard the network, the most common methods include 70% focusing on encrypting data, 50% using signalling firewalls and 37% leveraging access management of what and who can view, edit and have control on the network.
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