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NGN, eSIM & Blockchain – A Trifecta for Telco Carriers/Operators

Wireless Carriers transforming from being (traditional) Connectivity Provider → (trusted) Connected Solutions Partner / Architect are best positioned to play a lead role in the Connected Life & Industry 4.0 era

This first post in a multi-segment series introduces 3 key initiatives that will support Wireless Carriers through their transformative journey

Connected Corners

Many Carriers bring to the table substantial industry expertise, existing network infrastructure & assets, extensive consumer reach, robust distribution network as well as the trusted entity’ image… placing them in a prime position to conceptualize, develop & support of a wide array of next-gen connected solutions

Quick Note: Despite commonalities inherent to the industry, Wireless Carriers are increasingly gaining their own unique identity (geographic presence, asset ownership, strategic goals, partnerships, subscriber segment mix, revenue mix, OTT / media capabilities, etc.) and as such their transformation strategy will reflect their individual mid-long term goals

Enablement Initiatives

Supporting Carriers through their transformative journey are a mesh of Enablement Initiatives  particularly the Trifecta combination of NGN, eSIM & Blockchain

Connected Corners

NGN – Next Generation Network (5G): Unlocking Connected Opportunities

For the most part, Connected, Smart & Autonomous solutions will be powered by –

 Cognitive AI & Machine Learning
Advancements in Hardware (Chipsets, Sensors, etc.)
Robust Software & Cloud platforms… and importantly…
NGN (marketed as 5G) – an always-on, multi-protocol, heterogenous network being built specifically to support an (ultra-broad) array of connectivity requirements

NGN (5G) is enabling Carriers to unlock a host of diversified revenue streams such as fixed wireless gigabit internet provisioning, scalable virtualized enterprise networks, massive M2M / IoT solutions, Smart City initiatives and more

Timeline: As indicated in an earlier post, full scale (global) NGN/5G deployments aren’t expected until around the 2020 timeframe (& beyond)… presenting Carriers with an opportunity to tailor their NGN network, solutions & user experiences best suited to their business strategy & customer needs

eSIM: Capitalizing on SIM strengths & IoT/M2M growth

eSIM (embedded SIM) platform has already been benefiting the commercial M2M/IoT segment; enabling enhanced device provisioning, management & billing services… BUTrecently has trickled into select number of consumer devices as well (e.g. Tablets, Smartwatches, etc.)

Many Carriers worried that if OEMs (en-masse) began shipping smartphones with eSIM, it would lead to higher subscriber churn (impacting revenues)BUT… are gradually discovering the disruptive platform’s many benefits & opportunities that more than offsets its challenges (more on this topic in a separate post)

eSIM will enable Carriers to capitalize on the platform’s inherent strengths to innovate & support unique VAS / user experiences in the all-connected-digital era

Connected Corners

For example; Carriers could leverage eSIM platform to provide unique experiences (multi-device/user remote provisioning, near real-time personalized offers, seamless global roaming, et al.) for users adopting multiple connected (smartphone+tablet+IoT) devices

Timeline: eSIMequipped smartphones aren’t expected to completely replace current SIM versions in the immediate future (decade+ in some regions)… presenting Carriers with an opportunity to conceptualize unique (eSIM) VAS / user experiences as well as develop related backend support systems

Blockchain: From Connectivity Pipe → Smart Contracts!

In addition to exploring diversified VAS opportunities, Carriers are also seeking to cut costs, achieve transactional efficiencies and better facilitate transparency &  accountability within their (complex) multi-faceted operation enter Blockchain!

Blockchain will enable Carriers to realize these goals (& more), in part due to the platform’s inherent traits – namely – shared ledger, near-real-time immutable updates, cryptographic security and auditable smart contracts

Connected Corners

For example, a blockchain platform could aid Carriers in seeking out valuable cost savings; particularly from within their ‘multi-party transactional’ operations (e.g. Supply Chain operations, commercial services, etc.)

Additionally, Carriers may also find value in integrating blockchain (alongside eSIM & NGN initiatives) as a foundation for building a myriad of unique VAS propositions

Timeline: Blockchain platform is still relatively nascentBUT… as it maturesCarriers have an opportunity to closely study the technology for financial benefits (costs, revenue, ROI, etc.),VAS models, challenges & opportunities specific to their needs, transformation strategy & long-term goals

So…

The Trifecta combination of NGN, eSIM & Blockchain initiatives can enable Carriers to take on a lead role in co/designing, co/developing & supporting a myriad of Connected Life & Industry 4.0 solutions

NGN, eSIM & Blockchain are still evolving platforms, giving Carriers an apt opportunity to closely study their holistic value in reference to their future business operations & transformation goals… Today!

Carriers will particularly need to identify & address a range of challenges inherent to these disruptive emerging platforms… ideally in the early stages of solution conceptualization

Challenges could range from regulatory barriers through to technical complexities, cost commitments (R&D/CAPEX/OPEX) and more

Carriers will also need to assess (early on) the complexity of these initiatives and accordingly choose a development model (in-house, partnership, consortium, of-the-shelf PaaS etc.) best suited to their individual situation & long-term goals

Following segments in this series will focus on NGN, eSIM & Blockchain initiatives in more detail; including potential VAS models, benefits & challenges

Stay tuned!