Now is the time to start your 5G Journey

“Start now” was the overriding message from a podcast I had the privilege of listening to between Lars Mårtensson, VP & Head of Solution Area Cloud and Network Function and Dez Blanchfield, a strategic leader in business & digital transformation which dived into the third edition of Ericsson’s report towards the business potential of 5G – “5G for Business : A market compass for 2030”

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Portfolio Marketing Manager for Europe and Latin America

Portfolio Marketing Manager for Europe and Latin America

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The report shows that the awareness, areas of interest and engagement has changed since the initial report was published just 2 years ago and really highlights the pace of change towards 5G within the industry.  Although, as Lars stated, there are still three common elements which are introducing new or better experiences, cost drivers and improving the time to market. 

The forecast is now extended from 2026 to 2030 and allows every reader a visionary view of what is possible within this timeframe. In addition, and what I like the most, is a sense of urgency that decisions need to be made in the next 2-3 years to really reap these benefits.  With many  companies and enterprises, Ericsson is speaking with,  there are still a lot of questions as to how to really capitalize on 5G.  However, at the same time there is a sense of optimism that for those that embrace 5G early on, they do learn fast but not from just themselves but by developing ecosystems where co-creation is a vital component.

One thing that is crystal clear is that whole space is evolving and there is a real need to do some simple things such as developing a common vocabulary and share strong examples that show how the benefits are realized but what is different with this new generation compared with previous technologies. This report and the blog make a massive contribution towards helping enterprises better understand the potential which is great. 

Like Lars, I also share his  belief towards the importance of advocacy to show that the 5G journey should be a considered mix of a long term vision which is supported by a phased approach on those things that make sense initially and then evolve – the infamous “Lego” model. By this we imply, building up your expertise brick by brick, which is an expression I always try to squeeze into every presentation! I really liked the further guidance that 5G will never be built on single use case, that it is important to look at opportunities to re-use both the technical and commercial assets as much as possible. 

Again, this report and its predecessors have made some huge in-roads into clarifying the opportunities with 5G. The report outlines a segment and application matrix showing the linkage and the relative size of the addressable market has assisted the understanding and engagement even further.   On every occasion the matrix leads to some good, constructive, and on occasion, challenging discussions with all sorts of people wanting to know more about the what, why, when and how of 5G – it really is a go-to guide that should be leveraged as often as possible.

Within the United States. Lars gets a positive feeling that things are changing as there is a growing perception that 5G is the technology that can do so much more (than just mobile broadband). It is a new technology which will drive digitization and new revenue streams.  With a proposed $700 Bn possible by 2030 you can see why! I guess the most impressive and exciting aspect is that the need to create an ecosystem and that there is a real desire for enterprises to be part of these, to realize these new opportunities, is increasing day on day across all segments.  If you just look at how the number of 5G commercial agreements and partnerships which has accelerated over the last 12 months, it is truly incredible.  

One of the most important considerations for the Communication Service Provider is to examine what role they will or should be take towards 5G; Network Developer, Service Enable or Service Creator.  I get asked this question a lot but there is no simple answer and it will vary depending on so many factors. Therefore I raise the importance of the “Lego” model and that the role will adapt and vary during the evolution of 5G.

One further point that came out of the discussion was the differences between the CSPs that approach the enterprise business/customers more actively vs those who don’t. It was apparent that for those who do it will be a transformation in terms of what solutions they offer and how they adapt their GTM approach.   To transform the GTM is key to build an enterprise business for the long term incorporating new solutions and use cases as well of course new technology

I came away feeling very positive after listening to the podcast as it was refreshing to hear some common themes towards this report but also new some insights from Lars’ experience and interactions with customers too.  2020 will be an incredible year for 5G and I can’t wait to see how many others will start their journey.

Listen to the podcast on 5G market compass between Lars Mårtensson, VP & Head of Solution Area Cloud and Network Function and Dez Blanchfield 

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