Impacts of monetizing 5G and IoT on Digital BSS

5G and IoT are driving new business models which have demands on the way BSS systems evolve to provide a digital experience. By combining my colleagues’ deep network expertise with our proven BSS record, I hope to provide some insights into these demands.

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This blog post is the second in a series of three to introduce the new demands on telecom BSS thinking being driven by 5G and IoT use cases. In this post I concentrate on the impact on the BSS itself.

The previous post concentrated on the business demands: Monetize 5G and IoT business models. The remaining post will examine the impact these have on the business processes.


5G impact on Digital BSS

5G further extends the IoT business case. 5G core is moving towards a service-based architecture instead of the traditional node based one. This means that it’s more about software and orchestration of network functions than static node capabilities. One major consequence is that the definition of a large portion of 5G services will be done by higher layers, that is, BSS, OSS and by customers.

This will mean that a CSP’s business and offerings perspective must be managed by BSS, and operational optimization and orchestration aspects by OSS. Then, customer specific service aspects will be open for selection by the CSP’s customers via un-assisted channels like self-service portals and apps.

The digital BSS needs to evolve and embrace the entire offer decision and creation process. Traditionally, these processes have been outside BSS, residing either in manual paper and pen or spreadsheet.

BSS and OSS are parts of the Ericsson 5G core value proposition to enable both business agility and efficiency. It will be possible for BSS, OSS and 5G Core to exist on the same execution environment and share management layers/portals.


Welcome to the ecosystem

Enterprises and Digital Partners will be a CSP’s new, most valuable, customer asset. On one hand, these customer types look at the outset to be harder to acquire but, on the other hand, much stickier than a consumer customer. The contract types will normally be more long term focused and the potential costs for both the CSP as well as the Enterprise/Digital Partner to change to another relationship is potentially high.

An important aspect in the sales process for these customers is that CSP will need to package not only the communication subscriptions (as with all customers) but will also have to bundle this with specific network resources (for example, dedicated network slice), devices/modules and applications and give the enterprise a complete package.

In IoT, it is likely that new types of MVNOs will appear: the IoT industry specific MVNO (for example Health MVNO, Automotive MVNO, …). There is also a new revenue stream that appears in the B2B and B2B2C business models and that is for CSP to sell business insights (based on data collected from Enterprise/Digital Partner events) to the partner.

In the B2B2C business, we will have cases where the CSP re-sells Digital partner services as well and when the Digital partner holds the end-customer relation and sells using the CSP infrastructure or other resources.

The role of BSS

Figure 1: The role of BSS


B2B, B2B2X, B2C revenue streams

Real-time and part of service delivery

The journey that Ericsson BSS has taken – from being a back-office system to becoming a real-time system, part of the service delivery instead of a silent bystander – fits very well into the 5G architecture and business evolution. The fact that Ericsson Digital BSS is real-time software makes it possible to inject it into the 5G service delivery. Unlike traditional systems, Ericsson Digital BSS can deliver services not only managing traditional telecom core characteristics and methods but also add unique BSS insights around partners, SLA and contract lifecycles.

Operator perspective

To be able to monetize 5G/IoT, a modern operator will focus on business agility, partner/consumer experience, and efficient business operation.

Digital Service Providers (DSPs) will be required to address rapidly changing market requirements – to be able to adopt new business models, new types of partners and new devices served – all connected quickly and efficiently.

In 5G/IoT, automation and Artificial Intelligence become an integral part of any DSP solution – to be able to scale the business, serve a multiplicity of diverse devices, and serve the variety of partners and enterprises. It becomes a necessity to support the zero-touch experience.

Partner perspective

DSPs’ partners expect quick and effortless onboarding, flexibility in business model selection/creation and variety of products/services to offer. Partners should be able to both consume and offer products and services to maximize their benefits and their customers’ experience.

Consumer perspective

Even if there’s a lot of talk about new segments and new business potential, 5G will of course also make life better for normal subscribers. It will be able to deliver higher speeds and lower latency for the consumer segment. When it comes to Digital BSS, we don’t foresee so many changes in how consumer customer relationships and business are managed. There will certainly be new network characteristics and parameters that will be sent to BSS to be used in various business logic, but this will be handled through configuration.

 Ericsson Digital BSS current releases already support 5G for initial deployments and are in use in Ericsson 5G customers.


Managing the business

The third and final part of this series discusses how to effectively manage a 5G and IoT business. This builds on our experience providing customer and product lifecycle management for our integrated back-end BSS solutions for many years.

In the meantime, I invite you to watch the replay of our webinar “Turn your BSS into a 5G monetization engine”, where an Ericsson expert joins IHS Markit industry analysts to explain the technical detail of 5G Monetization.

Join webinar

You may also be interested in the whitepaper from earlier this year in which Analysys Mason discusses their view of the monetization systems needed by service providers to support their 5G revenue ambitions: Monetize new 5G business models

Download white paper



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