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Telecom Powers Global Innovation. Standalone 5G Is Their Chance to Finally Get Credit for It.

For the telecom industry, 5G SA is not just a ticket to technical advancement, but a ticket to reinvention.

Every life-changing digital breakthrough relies on telecom connectivity. Not too long ago, we couldn’t check our bank balances or order our favorite caffeinated beverages anytime via our phones. Today, we take conveniences like this for granted. And telecom networks do so much more — from keeping public transportation and power grids online to making telehealth possible to allowing us all to interact and transact with businesses.  

Yet, the industry rarely gets credit for its role in powering innovation. But that may change soon, thanks to 5G. It’s the most anticipated wireless technology to date. 5G’s speed, bandwidth, and latency improvements could change life even more than the shift from the old dial-up days. It could also change telecom’s revenue potential. By 2030, 5G will contribute an estimated $612 billion to GDP worldwide. 

And while 5G has been around for a while, we’ve only scratched the surface. Initial 5G rollouts primarily focused on non-standalone 5G (5G NSA), which builds on top of 4G networks. Now, many telecoms are building from scratch with standalone 5G (5G SA) initiatives without dependency on prior technology. This is a game-changer. 5G SA accelerates a world of new opportunities. Futuristic ideas, like autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and more, will run on 5G SA.

For the telecom industry, 5G SA is not just a ticket to technical advancement, but a ticket to reinvention. It’s an opportunity for the industry to step up and claim its rightful place as a digital innovator, driving the future of connectivity and innovation.

From enablers to innovators: The standalone 5G opportunity

What makes 5G SA so monumental is that it’s designed for innovation by taking fast download speeds and low latency to the next level. Telecoms can now reliably power advances (like autonomous vehicles, precision robots, smart grids, robotic surgery, and others) that rely on near-real-time responsiveness. These breakthroughs fuel business growth and change lives. 

This completely new architecture includes capabilities like: 

  • Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC): Delivers latency of 1 millisecond or less. 
  • Massive Internet of Things (mIoT): Enables up to 1 million connected devices per square kilometer.
  • Virtual network slicing: Adds more flexibility and control.
  • Seamless integration with edge computing: Brings more AI applications to the edge.

Many of these innovations fall into an emerging opportunity for telecom: B2B2X.

B2B2X — a fast-growing business model where multiple businesses (the Bs) join forces to deliver new services for end customers (the X) — gives telecoms the chance to build new revenue streams around high-value services. The B2B2X market has an anticipated 25% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), reaching $440 billion in annual revenues by 2030. 

To get their slice of the B2B2X pie, telecoms must adapt. These are new markets with high expectations.  Telecoms must collaborate in new ways to bring next-generation services to market. And the customer experience (CX) is just as important as any new offering. Consumer expectations for simple, speedy, personalized services are already high. 5G raises the stakes further. The same is true for enterprise customers who have big expectations for their 5G-powered initiatives. They’ll look to the telecom industry to prove they can deliver on their vision and provide standout customer experiences.

Legacy technology can’t always keep up, and B2B2X success is on the line. Telecoms need to show they can rise to the moment and deliver on the promise of 5G. The good news is that telecoms can up their CX game with technology that supports a predictive, proactive service approach. 

Visibility is the foundation for 5G SA success

5G SA offers the telecom industry unprecedented growth and innovation, but this opportunity comes with more complexity and security threats. How can the industry see and secure it all if 5G supports 1 million devices per square kilometer? Telecoms will have to prioritize end-to-end visibility across the stack. 

With enhanced visibility, disruptions don’t become showstoppers. Instead, telecoms can pinpoint issues or threats and resolve them quickly, keeping customers and B2B2X partners happy. They can also innovate new 5G offerings to adapt to shifting market demands. When they launch new features, they can test them to know what’s working and adjust with ease.

End-to-end visibility as not just a tool, but the very foundation for the next chapter of telecom. As telecom connectivity becomes even more embedded in our everyday lives, telecoms need this crucial tool to ensure the success of ongoing innovation and to secure new revenue streams. 

With a better view of networks and the customer journey, innovation won’t have to stop at what we can imagine today. Telecoms will have the insight they need to continue improving their offerings and creating new ones. Hopefully, they’ll finally get credit for their role in powering the innovations that make life better for all of us. 

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