5G to create new growth opportunities for telcos in enterprise segment: Accenture

NEW DELHI: The next generation technology 5G in India is expected to generate new avenues for growth in the enterprise segment for the telecom industry.

“5G will bring significant opportunities for revenue growth, especially in the enterprise segment. And telecom companies are investing in new use cases while scouting for partnerships with global consulting, technology companies, and manufacturers… all of this highlights the opportunity for growth across industries such as mining, manufacturing, healthcare etc,” Saurabh Kumar Sahu, Managing Director and Lead – Communications, Media and Technology, Accenture In India, told ETTelecom. The launch of 5G services in India is still over a year away as the government is planning to conduct the spectrum auction in April-May 2022.

With 5G, operators need to move beyond the traditional business model of providing connectivity to becoming a connected industry orchestrator and platform player by prioritizing investments into the technology itself and network modernization, he said.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea recently have started focusing more on the enterprise segment for driving new use cases during the ongoing 5G trials, and have started forming new alliances with technology companies and brands.

Bharti Airtel has already announced partnerships with global firms such as Accenture, Cisco, Ericsson and others to test enterprise-grade use cases using high speed, low latency 5G networks.

Vodafone Idea, on the other hand, has joined hands with homegrown startups — Vizzbee Robotics Solution and Tweek Labs — to test 5G-based solutions on aerial traffic management and motion capture system.

Sahu said the innovations in the enterprise segment will consist of 5G, 4G, small cells, and even Wi-Fi offloads, and new digital technologies will come into the picture. Operators’ enterprise efforts will be enabled by a hybrid network with enhanced coverage through collaboration with hyperscalers such as Amazon Web Services and

“In the consumer space, we will see it shift from business to consumer (B2C) to business to business to consumer (B2B2C), with the home becoming the focal point for innovation,” Sahu said.

“Telecom operators in India have a strong foundation in their existing cloud infrastructures and that is critical to network modernization. This has not only enabled the network modernization movement but also lower dependence on ecosystem partners,” he said.

But building a network isn’t enough in current times. The smartphone ecosystem majorly ensures the uptake and consumption of applications and the utilization of the network, he said, adding that greater focus should be put on testing and validating devices in the 5G bands.

Affordable smartphones with support for upto 12-13 5G bands are available for purchase in India.

“But on a positive note, the model of data bundling and partnering with e-commerce portals will enable the telecom operators to drive data adoption and increase customer stickiness. An end-to-end lifecycle management model could also help telcos benefit from 5G smartphones,” the executive said.

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