The BSS/OSS section of the 2019 telecoms.com Annual Industry Survey, which was sponsored by MDS Global, found that CSPs believe B2B customers will give them a greater return on their 5G investment than B2C customers. In fact, when asked to prioritise different types of customer for 5G investment, 84% of respondents prioritised B2B sectors over B2C:
- Priority 1 – Large enterprise services
- Priority 2 – SME services
- Priority 3 – Government services
- Priority 4 (joint) – Wholesale and SOHO services
- Priority 5 – B2C services
This finding is entirely as expected as 5G is designed primarily for business. In fact, it is regularly claimed that 5G will usher in the fourth industrial revolution, as everything that can be connected will be connected.
One of the most important aspects of 5G is network slicing, which will enable enterprises to define the exact characteristics of their network slice - which will be isolated from other slices - based on their speed, latency, cost and reliability requirements, all of which will be guaranteed by SLAs and QoS agreements. For example, the key requirements of a smart surgery application may be low latency and high reliability, whilst for a smart city application, it may be affordable pricing and a long battery life.
Whilst 5G will offer new revenue opportunities for CSPs, it will bring challenges for those operating with a legacy BSS, as it is unlikely that they will be able to automatically spin up, manage and monetise different network slices, which they need to be able to do if they are to support 5G use cases. This is something that respondents of the telecoms.com survey recognised, with 70% stating that the need to provide custom network services will trigger major BSS change within the next five years.
In order to sell, service and operate enterprise 5G services effectively, CSPs need a digital BSS stack that is separate from their B2C stack, and that is enabled for virtualised networks. It must be easily tailored to customers’ requirements and offer self-service capabilities. As most CSPs use multiple routes to market, including wholesale, direct and resellers, their B2B stack must also be able to Bill-On-Behalf-Of (BOBO) for the whole B2B2X chain, which requires an integrated end-to-end real-time environment for cost and service transparency.
MDS Global’s B2BonDemand is a dedicated B2B BSS solution delivered as-a-service to enterprise service providers. B2BonDemand manages the complexities involved with selling and supporting self-definable and framework-based services, including connectivity (business and IoT), hardware and cloud services to SOHO, SME, large and government enterprises, both through direct and indirect channels.