CSPs can unlock the potential of messaging, IoT, security and 5G to drive revenue and enable sustainable growth
As communications service providers (CSPs) grapple with the challenges of the pandemic, which has added to their transformation burdens as they reshape themselves for the digital, 5G-enabled new era of connectivity, Matteo Gatta, the recently appointed chief executive of BICS, tells VanillaPlus how messaging, IoT, security and mobility revenue can all be maximised.
Gatta, who joined BICS in January 2021, was previously director of Network Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships at Proximus, the Belgian CSP that is BICS’ sole shareholder. He has worked at several CSPs throughout his career, serving on boards as well as being a founder director of LoRa Alliance.
This breadth of experience gives him a comprehensive view of the trends driving the industry as it changes from selling voice and data to providing communications platforms as-a-service in both wholesale and retail markets. The key challenge, he says, is to utilise software tools to generate the revenue needed to create sustainable growth for CSPs
How has the wholesale market changed over the last two-to-three years and how does this present opportunities for operators?
Matteo Gatta: There is a massive transition taking place in the traditional wholesale market, driven by evolving business models and the need for CSPs to create new revenue streams. There are huge opportunities to be had for those players that embrace this change.
The wholesale market needs to meet changing customer requirements quickly, and capitalise on the innovation and diversification being fueled by this changing landscape.
I think we can identify three areas that are driving the transition in the wholesale market. First, the explosion in data traffic, which is prompting carriers to focus on delivering reliable international bandwidth services, all the while expanding their infrastructure to support the billions of people and things connecting all over the world.
This huge increase in data traffic is being driven both by 5G, with increased traffic through applications supported by 5G, as well as the surge in the number of connected end points being driven by the Internet of Things (IoT). While the 5G and IoT are fueling opportunity, the promised returns haven’t been fully realised yet. To do this, CSPs must employ software tools to unlock the returns needed to sustain and grow business. […]
What about legacy services, like voice and messaging? Do these still present opportunities for CSPs?
Matteo Gatta: Voice is still a critical component of communications and will remain so for years to come. This is a highly competitive market which faces competition not only from other traditional telcos, but new categories as well. Yes, consumers are using overthe-top (OTT) apps like WhatsApp and Messenger, but people across the world will never stop wanting to talk, to have that connection with each other, and whatever platform they use, voice will continue to play its role
Along with the rest of communications, voice is going through a major transformation, in step with the evolving expectations and needs of customers. The voice business is migrating into an all-IP environment. We are seeing sunsets of 2G networks globally, and even 3G networks in regions like Asia. 4G and 5G rollouts continue in many markets. CSPs therefore face a challenge: to deliver a seamless 4G and 5G voice experience beyond their own network borders – with roaming and international connectivity – which matches the at-home service consumers have grown accustomed to. If they can deliver an outstanding experience while doing so, CSPs can promote customer stickiness
Alongside these shifts in expectations which CSPs are facing from subscribers, there are emerging needs coming from enterprises, which CSPs have a golden opportunity to address. Enterprises want cloud-based communications, including voice and messaging, that are simple, streamlined and give them the degree of control needed to embed communications in business processes and transactions. […]
How has the pandemic presented new opportunities in the cloud space?
Matteo Gatta: 2020 saw an acceleration in the adoption of digital transformation by businesses large and small. Mobile operators have had to quickly adapt to the demands of their enterprise customers. These include supporting employees to work from anywhere, and to use collaboration and communication tools for colleague and customer support
The cloud opportunity presents mobile operators with numerous avenues for growth. First, mobile operators can secure new sources of inbound revenue by monetising assets like mobile number ranges to cater to the need for virtual numbers to support cloud telephony. They also stand to gain termination revenues from voice and short message service (SMS) traffic. And lastly, the cloud ecosystem stimulates increased use of data between cloud platforms and mobile networks, which in turn delivers more revenues to mobile operators.
Security will also be key. Of course, security has always been an important consideration for communications everywhere, but the kinds of use cases emerging with 5G will move security to front and centre. […]
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