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5G monetization requires the right blend of technology, partners and market positioning: Nokia Q&A

Nokia believes that successful 5G monetization starts with creating value for the end customer, consumer or enterprise

In a written Q&A with RCR Wireless News, Nokia’s Elana Crowne, director of product marketing, monetization lead, and Olivier Guéret, cross-portfolio ecosystem and marketing, customer experience, shared the vendor’s perspective on how operators are working to monetize 5G services. Successful communication service providers (CSPs) have monetization opportunities in both the consumer and enterprise segments, but success requires the right blend of technology, ecosystem partners and market positioning.

The following text has been edited for length and clarity. 

Q: How does Nokia define 5G monetization? 

A: 5G monetization is top of mind for Communication Service Providers. Having invested billions of dollars in 5G deployments, they are now looking at the best options to maximize returns on their investment. 5G has the potential to drive new revenue growth and new business opportunities beyond connectivity, both in the consumer and enterprise segments. 

At Nokia, we are strongly convinced that a successful monetization starts with creating value for the end customer, consumer or enterprise. Therefore, our definition of “5G monetization” covers the whole process, from understanding the consumer and enterprise needs, to working with partners and ecosystems to address that need and eventually monetizing that value creation. We support our customers at every step of that process, with our consulting services, product and solutions but are also very active in fostering collaboration between industry players and the creation of ecosystems.

Q: How are CSPs faring when it comes to monetizing 5G? What obstacles are they having to navigate? 

A: There are several strategies when it comes to 5G monetization. CSPs can continue to apply the same pricing strategies and monetize connectivity and capacity, but those who seek to address their customer needs or pain points with bundled services (for consumers) or tailored solutions (for enterprises) are most likely to generate the highest returns. CSPs won’t be able to do everything themselves and they will need to partner.

Additionally, CSPs need to ensure they have the right technology in place to enable this and many CSPs are being held back by legacy BSS that are not fit to capitalize on these opportunities due to their monolithic architectures and limited flexibility.

Our independent monetization survey of 100 SPs across the globe found that 98% are going to evolve or extend their BSS in the next five years to effectively monetize 5G.

Q: How is Nokia helping CSPs address these challenges?

A: In terms of ecosystems, Nokia has launched our Open Ecosystem Network (OpEN), a collaborative platform where industry players, big tech companies and start-ups alike, can co-ideate, co-create and bring to market innovative services and solutions.

In addition, CSPs require modern monetization solutions to meet the needs of the 5G economy. We are supporting CSPs with our innovative monetization solutions. The key elements of a 5G ready monetization system includes: enable CSPs to capture all new revenue opportunities; enable business agility through faster [time to market] of services and offers (no-code configurability); meet CX demands of users; support operational efficiency through software architecture that reduces TCO. 

Q: What are some of the most readily monetizable 5G use cases? 

A: In the consumer space, South Korea is one of the most advanced countries and a good example to look at when it comes to advanced 5G services. We recently interviewed LGU+ Vice President and Head of XaaS Business, Son Minseon, to talk about how her company shaped its 5G service bundles and pricing strategies. Their success is based on a fine-grained customer segmentation to meet specific lifestyle needs, such as video streaming, cloud gaming, immersive sports and music events with AR/VR services.

On the enterprise side, our recent monetization survey has found that the top use cases include enterprise IoT services and NaaS offerings.

Q: In what ways might a CSP be required to extend or change their role as a connectivity provider to best capture 5G revenue opportunities? 

A: As stated by LGU+, CSPs need to evolve from being a “network provider” to a “network-based enabler.”

CSPs will need to embrace openness, both internally to break down the silos and make the best usage of the goldmine of data but also externally by opening up their network APIs to partners in order to spur innovation, create value and deliver in a timely manner.

Q: What sorts of partnerships should CSPs be developing to best monetize 5G? 

A: We believe there is no one type of ecosystem and CSP will need to get involve in (and sometimes lead) multiple ecosystems.

For services targeting a large audience with a medium added-value, they can simply participate in an already large, established ecosystem and bring the connectivity. By doing so, they can quickly access a large developer community and services can be brought to market faster.

For “long-tail” services addressing a small audience but with a high added value, they might want to take part in (or lead) a smaller ecosystem.

These partnerships and ecosystems are also becoming increasingly important and our recent survey found that 60% of new revenue will come from B2B2X business models and not from traditional B2B or B2C business models.

For more on 5G monetization, make sure to attend the 5G Monetization Forum 2022 on February 22nd.


Catherine Sbeglia Nin
Catherine Sbeglia Nin
Catherine is the Managing Editor for RCR Wireless News and Enterprise IoT Insights, where she covers topics such as Wi-Fi, network infrastructure and edge computing. She also hosts Arden Media's podcast Well, technically... After studying English and Film & Media Studies at The University of Rochester, she moved to Madison, WI. Having already lived on both coasts, she thought she’d give the middle a try. So far, she likes it very much.

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