Addition by subtraction: A next-generation BSS for 5G and IoT monetization

It’s hard to admit, but sometimes a team can improve, not by adding more talent, but by shedding players who are no longer contributing to the overall result as the game evolves. With the introduction of 5G, operators must re-think their offers and let a simpler BSS improve monetization and entry into new markets.

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Speed, latency, density and power. These four 5G pillars are promising to overhaul communication providers’ business:

  • Speeds are up to 20 times higher than 4G, reaching 20Gbps – key for the fast transport of large amounts of information.
  • Latency is down to 1ms or less, which allows critical operations that do not support delays (such as autonomous cars and medical operations) to be controlled remotely.
  • Density is growing to more than one million connected devices within a square kilometer of an average city, enabling IoT (Internet of Things) for virtually all types of businesses.
  • Low power consumption is what will allow connected objects to operate for months or years without the need for human assistance.

Mobile operators have been relying on voice and data bundles since mobile internet was introduced along with 2G technology in the 1990s. Higher speeds became available after the year 2000 as part of the third (3G) and fourth (4G) generations. However, there were no big changes for the B2C market except for the introduction of some new plans and tariffs such as flat fees and allowances for different rating groups. The B2B front posed its own set of challenges even if the product catalog was not that different – except for hierarchies and larger spending control. Now that 5G has arrived with its four pillars, what does it mean for BSS and why will real-time charging become even more important?


5G: an era of hyper complexity and simplified offers

It is already widely known that 5G will open many new business opportunities for telco operators – from selling network slices with different latencies (and prices) to connecting millions of devices for different enterprises. As a result, 5G should bring more complexity to BSS, right? We discussed the impacts of these new trends within BSS in a previous post, and the challenges that 5G brings to BSS are overwhelming – such as marketing-varied QoS network slices, being able to quickly set up the building blocks for new offers, supporting new device identifications (not only   the telephone numberbut also MAC addresses, IP addresses and names) and provisioning millions, or billions, of new IoT subscriptions under a company (for example, a new IoT application).

But the reality is that BSS needs to get simpler in order to support these complex new business needs. For example, once speeds of up to 20Gbps are available to consumers and companies, they will demand it instantly upon purchase, quickly breaking it up into smaller speeds, re-selling it and then using their own ‘part’ of the slice to live stream ultra-HD movies, monitor real-time sensors in factories around the country or just make a simple phone call (but now all over IP!). This will only be possible if we remove layers from BSS and allow its product catalog to not only provide support for the new 5G offers, but to break it down into smaller, chargeable subsets that can be quickly configured, deployed, provisioned and used by the subscriber or by a third party that may be involved in the business chain at any point in time. With a simple, strong and effective product catalog in place, operators will be able to quickly monetize new 5G business opportunities.

And once 5G gets traction, the current complex bundles will be replaced by simpler offers with flat fees per service or specific packages for each different application that the subscriber, being a consumer or an enterprise, may purchase and use. Without the need to control complicated voice and data rating structures, there will be more resources to focus on applications running on top of those extremely high speeds.


This is where real-time charging takes the main stage!

Welcome the game changer: real-time charging. In order to monetize the new (and the old) assets, operators will have to strictly control what, when, how and who is using their services. At all times and in real-time. This is how they will be able to provide the right user experience based on the contract with each individual customer, updating it automatically once thresholds are crossed, subscriber requests or new purchases are done. In addition, new opportunities will arise, such as using real-time data for analytics, more effective interactions with subscribers and accurate capacity planning or re-use in special peak periods.

Does this post ring a bell? Please register for the webinar “Turn your BSS into a 5G monetization engine” and let´s meet on October 3rd to discuss the latest and greatest on the BSS challenges for 5G and monetization strategies.

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